Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A Time To Come Together

A Time To Come Together
Alfredo Cepero

Under this simple and direct title, three reputable Cuban leaders inside
the island: Martha Beatriz Roque, Dr. Oscar Elías Biscet and Vladimiro
Roca, signed a document in October 2005 that could become a milestone
for the forces opposing Castro's totalitarian regime.

It is a call to analysis and reflection without conditions or
prerequisites. It calls upon all Cubans to work together for democracy
and human rights without the constrains of a formal unity movement. The
same unity that has escaped us for almost half a century because, in the
words of Spanish poet Federico García Lorca: "we do not know the meaning
of the middle ground". And I could add: "the consensus either". However,
it is expected that, acknowledging the obstacles, we might be able to
achieve the level of cooperation that could lead to a sovereign, just
and democratic Cuba.

Based upon the same premises of the October 2005 document, the Assembly
for the Promotion of Civil Society, from inside Cuba, and the Cuban
Patriotic Forum, from Miami, signed a five points document in September
2006 as a basis for their cooperation toward the establishment of a
government based on the rule of law in the island. Both documents, the
2005 and the 2006, share the same basic points that serve as
cornerstones to the programs of most organizations working toward a
transition from dictatorship to democracy with justice but without

Therefore, I can not think of any rational or logical reason why the
Cubans inside and outside the island can not work together (not united
but together) toward the establishment of democracy in our country. Work
together to withstand the last gusts of the devastating hurricane that
has descended upon us for the last 48 years. Once out of the storm and
enjoying the blessings of freedom, each one of us could walk the path
dictated by his or her personal principles and believes. We will then be
able to overcome our differences through the ballot boxes and without
jails, killings and hatred.

However, it should be made crystal clear that this approach does not
include all the Cubans. Those supporters and cronies of the dictator
that have violated human rights and committed crimes against humanity
must be held accountable for their heinous actions. The Nuremberg trials
might provide some guidance on this matter. On the other side, we must
be aware that this will not be an easy task but one that must be done.
Because for freedom to prevail justice must be achieved.

And finally, we Cubans must be aware that achieving those goals will
demand energy, imagination and, most of all, courage. After all,
humanity's greatest achievements have started in a dream, made possible
by courage and derailed by fear. We all have the capacity to be as great
as our dreams and as small as our fears. At this crossroad in our
history we must have the vision to dream with a free and just nation and
the courage to transform that dream into a brilliant reality.

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