Monday, April 28, 2008

Toward peace and prosperity in Cuba

Toward peace and prosperity in Cuba
Posted on Sat, Apr. 26, 2008

Below are excerpts from the ''Declaration of Concord,'' by Ariel Hidalgo
and six other exile activists in Miami. Since March 20, it has garnered
more than 75 signatures. To add your signature, e-mail cladehlt@

The undersigned, all of us Cubans or of Cuban origin and currently
residing abroad, want to convey to Cubans residing on the island the

We are seeking peace, reconciliation and harmony among all Cubans. We
refuse to continue feeding the reciprocal hate and resentment that have
nurtured cyclical episodes of violence and fratricide throughout the
history of our nation. . . . We seek, in essence, to infuse a spiritual
renewal into the Cuban family as a whole and the start of an era of
peace and prosperity. All Cubans, wherever they reside, conform a single
nation, and we should work together on behalf of our nation.

We understand Cuban Concord as the means to assure the harmonious
coexistence of all our brothers and sisters within our common
motherland, based on mutual respect of our diverse viewpoints and
creeds. Never again should such diversity hinder or threaten our ability
to live in peace with each other.

Under no circumstance should discrimination be acceptable, whether based
on race, wealth, culture, sex, sexual orientation, ideology, religion or
national origin.

. . . We wish for an orderly system that, far from deterring the natural
potential creativity of every human being, frees all Cubans from all
restraints, and stimulates the creation of wealth and abundance
everywhere in our country, especially through the efforts of Cuban
workers, characterized as they are by their productivity and

We reject a system geared to achieving egalitarian goals through an even
level of misery. On the contrary, we seek to build a system geared to
generating unbounded riches through equal opportunity and social and
economic rights.

No Cuban presently residing in Cuba should be dispossessed of any
property he actually uses to live in (or make a living from) due to
restitution claims that could eventually be made by a prior owner,
notwithstanding the latter's right to a fair compensation. Nor should
collective social benefits such as education and health be curtailed,
but rather, they should be increased and guaranteed.

Humanitarian talks

We are not moved by a spirit of plunder, but rather by our will to
generously help in the improvement and reconstruction of our common
homeland. . . .

We stand firmly in favor of using peaceful methods, through dialogue and
the free exchange of ideas, to pursue these goals..

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the 1978 humanitarian
conversations with the Cuban government, which resulted in the
liberation of more than 3,600 political prisoners and in more contacts
between the family members in Cuba and those abroad. We hereby propose
new humanitarian conversations in the hope that they will constitute a
first step toward the future Cuba deserves.

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