Cuba's Civil Society Is Transnational Says Rodiles / David Canela
Posted on July 29, 2013
HAVANA, Cuba, July 22, 2013, David Canela/www.cubanet.org — Last
Saturday the independent Estado de SATS project sponsored a panel
discussion among Cuban civil society activists. The participants
included attorney Yaremis Flores, journalist Jorge Olivera (one of
seventy-five dissidents imprisoned during the 2003 Black Spring
crackdown), Roberto de Jesús Guerra, director of the news agency
Hablemos Press, and Manuel Cuesta Morúa, a political analyst. The topic
of the event was the current situation on the island following the
latest political reforms and especially after recent trips overseas by
many independent activists.
In regards to the experience of trying to be part of a globalized world,
Flores emphasized that "the issue for Cubans is the lack of
information." Referring to his work representing those involved in legal
cases, whose rights have often been at risk, he said, "If you cannot
travel (to Geneva), they can send you information."
Guerra and Olivera emphasized the need to strengthen the intellectual
and organizational capabilities of the peaceful opposition. We must
"continue organizing and empowering opposition groups," said Guerra. For
his part Olivera pointed out that the government "tries to manipulate
international public opinion and buy time, which means we must adopt a
more articulate and professional approach."
According Cuesta Morúa, "the government has moved the battle of ideas
abroad, and in Cuba tries to present a friendly dissent or a loyal
The trend to a more balanced and dynamic migration flow would be a
catalyst in the modernization of the country, as there is now a
"transnational Cuban civil society," as Rodiles called it.
As for the present, not all agreed with the idea that we are in a
political transition, — as the journalist Julio Aleaga said — although
this has not been officially declared. He explained that the reforms in
China had begun in 1979, although its results were visible a decade
later, with the Tienanmen protests, and that the Soviet Union no one
imagined, in 1985, that Perestroika would be the dismantling of socialism.
Olivera believes that in the future "there will be a negotiation between
the government and the opposition, because the country is in ruins." In
this regard, the journalist José Fornaris enunciated that "we have to
prepare a program of government," and not be ashamed to admit that we
want to be part of the new government.
When the panel was asked what recommendations would that give to those
traveling abroad, the lawyer Yaremis Flores suggested bringing evidence
and documents on specific cases that demonstrate the problems of Cuban
society that are not exposed in international forums, and so give a new
face to the society, that humanizes it, and belies the manipulated
figures from official groups of the government.
Cuesta Morúa added to avoid saying "I speak on behalf of …", "I am the
voice of …" He said there are receptive people abroad, who don't want to
hear protests, but rather proposals. And with regards to his experience
at the last meeting of the Latin American Study Association (LASA), he
noted that for the first time they broke the monopoly and the image
(official) of Cuba at these academic meetings, due to the actions of
independent sectors of the Island
This coming Saturday will be the three-year anniversary of the Estado de
22 July 2013
Source: "Cuba's Civil Society Is Transnational Says Rodiles / David
Canela | Translating Cuba" -