Monday, August 29, 2016

Police Arrest Several Activists From Candidates For Change

Police Arrest Several Activists From Candidates For Change / 14ymedio

14ymedio, Havana, 27 August 2016 – Regime opponent Julio Aleago reported
to this newspaper that the police detained several activists on Saturday
morning to keep them from attending a meeting of volunteer observers
associated with the Candidates for Change platform. The meeting was to
be held at the home of Juan Moreno in Havana's Vedado district, but the
host was taken to the Aguilera police station in the 10 de Octubre

The activist Ricardo Marlene was prevented from leaving his home in San
Miguel del Padron, where he now remains under house arrest. The
whereabouts of the other participants are unknown.

Julio Aleaga, executive secretary of the electoral platform Candidates
for Change, told this newspaper that the arrest of Moreno was made by a
State Security officer identified by the alias Diego. "We will not
allow" the meeting to take place, "Diego" had warned last Tuesday.

Among the tasks of the volunteer observers are to gather the concerns of
the population and present them in the district accountability
assemblies – meetings where elected officials report back to citizens on
the achievements of government programs and promises – and to make these
concerns available to the elected delegates through the offices
instituted for that purpose.

The initiative is an effort by Candidates for Change with the aim of
overseeing the government on behalf of the citizens and questioning
public policy at the district, people's council and municipality levels.

At present Candidates for Change is discussing the appointment of Party
Central Committee member and National Assembly Deputy Reinaldo Garcia
Zapata to the position of governor of Havana. He has been brought in
from the province of Santiago de Cuba to replace the recently removed
Marta Romero.

The appointment was a proposal presented last Saturday by Agustin de la
Pena, from the Candidacy Commission, with the concurrence of the Vice
President of the National Assembly, Ana Maria Mari Machado, and of
General Ulises Rosales del Toro.

Aleaga notes that there is no protocol in the law for citizens to reject
these appointments, which are not the result of an electoral process.
The objection lodged by Candidates for Change has received no
institutional response.

The volunteer observers have representatives in the provinces of
Santiago de Cuba, Sancti Spiritus, Granma, Cienfuegos and Havana. Its
members plan to work intensively on the electoral process that
will begin in late 2017. They will focus on the electoral registers, the
area assemblies where direct proposals from the population are put
forward, and on verifying election results at polling stations.

Aleaga believes that the intent to repress this meeting is "an attempt
to prevent the strengthening of the internal structures of this movement
whose objective is to use the government's electoral system to promote
the transition to democracy."

Source: Police Arrest Several Activists From Candidates For Change /
14ymedio – Translating Cuba -
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