The Cuban government today said it won’t renounce its “revolutionary and anti-imperialist” ideals as relations with the U.S. thaw ahead of President Barack Obama’s visit to the Communist island this month, Bloomberg reports:
In an editorial published Wednesday in Granma, the Communist Party’s official newspaper, the government said its relations with the U.S. won’t affect the goal of building “prosperous and sustainable socialism” to consolidate the 1959 revolution. …..In the editorial, the Cuban government criticized the U.S. role in supporting dissidents, saying the country should “abandon the pretense of fabricating an internal political opposition, paid for with money from U.S. taxpayers.”
President Obama’s administration will announce further measures to ease travel and trade restrictions on Cuba on March 17, ahead of his historic visit to the Communist-ruled island this month, Reuters reports.
The international community can help to reorient a process to a real democratic transition, by supporting the public participation and the solutions that the Cuban citizens have already proposed, leading dissident Rosa María Payá said in Prague this week as she accepted People In Need’s Homo Homini Award (above).
Europe most realize that it is the Cuban government that needs Europe, not Europe that needs Cuba, so that the European Union has now in its hands a lever to support democracy, and with democracy, to foster true peace, progress and stability in Cuba and in the region. This is a condition also necessary to establish a framework of guarantees for European economic interests.
For 65 years now, there have been no free and plural elections held in Cuba, and there is no legal framework to conduct them. The space for economic reforms is also very limited, because the constitution was illegally altered in 2002 to make “irrevocable” the system, setting in stone the economic, political and social system of the island, which is linked to the control of the Communist one-party system and its monopolistic management .
“The European Union cannot ask for a constitutional change, but it can support the right of Cubans to choose their own future, to choose the system they want to live in, and to participate in the economic and political life of our country,” she said:
I ask you to please join us in our struggle for the plebiscite, carried on by a national and international campaign of the citizen initiative called Cuba Decide. Because to support the right to decide of the Cuban People it is not to play against any actor, not even against the criminals in power: to support the right to decide of our citizenry it is just to take sides with the Cuban people.