HAVANA – The Cuban opposition should view President Raul Castro's
decision to free dozens of political prisoners and liberalize the
economy as a chance to promote greater citizen involvement in the
political process, a dissident group said Wednesday.
Calling itself the Foundation for Participative Change, the organization
is advocating "tactical adjustments" in the face of Castro's ongoing
talks with the Cuban Catholic hierarchy and his modest attempts to
revitalize the island's trouble economy.
Though the government has not changed its strategy, its latest steps
make it possible to speak of an "inflection point" in Cuban politics,
according to the foundation.
The group aims to convince elements of "independent civil society" to
reassert their "civic role" and engage with the government on the
changes coming to Cuba, foundation president Francisco Chaviano told a
press conference in Havana.
Dissidents should try to exert "influence as much as possible, from
constructive and measured stances, in the popular space of the
government's official policy," Chaviano said.
In terms of specific policies, the foundation wants more opportunity for
small business and the end of the Communist Party's political monopoly.
As part of its mission, the foundation plans to gauge public opinion by
way of surveys and share the findings with officials as a way of
"presenting the other view of the country's situation," Chaviano said.
The foundation comprises members of various existing opposition groups,
including Agenda for the Transition, the National Civil Rights Council
and the Liberal Party. EFE