The Actors of the Change in Cuba
The Actors of the Change in Cuba (working translation)
Speech delivered during the International conference Democratic change
in Cuba: who are the actors?, Stockholm, Sweden, 6-7 february, 2006.
The Havana regime has consolidated the inflexibility as the best
alternative of survival under the traitor leadership of Fidel Castro,
who is followed by a number of persons capable to centralize power and
authority in Cuba.
These representatives of tge orthodox fundamentalists and the followers
of Castro have dominated the country’s destiny for more than four
decades, acting under cover of intolerence, indecency and constant
violation of political, economical, social and cultural rights for the
The political actions by the regime have always been outlined to confuse
the people and to show a certain legitimacy from the artificial
scenario. The fanatics let themselves be pulled by the transmitted
mystery of revolution under a talkative and bewildered leader that bases
his discourse in a supposed humanism.
However, his personal behaviour is that of predatory despot with a
censorship superior to the Torquemadas. He is capable to mutilate the
opportunities for all who oppose this image and ambition to govern with
the rigor of a whip rebellion under the proscription of being intellectual.
Despite the existence of these variables, a growing group of Cubans have
begun to challenge the inflexibility and they have begun to construct a
change where political participation is a right shared by all in a way
so that it by majority effort can generate the construction of a
democratic and plural society.
What are the actors of change?
An actor of change is the person capable of taking the proactive
initiative to produce transformations in favor of himself and the
others. An actor of change assumes the responsibility of mobilizing the
others’ awareness according to their initial orientation in order to
construct value systems beneficiary to society.
What are the social changes?
The social changes are necessary movements as a result of constant
confrontation between different tendencies. In Cuba the static
government has caused a reverse developement, neglecting the citizens,
the public space for debate in this matter and for the aim of all Cubans.
Speaking about changes it is important to consider three essential
aspects for the implementation of the change:
First, a clear definition of the problem in very specific terms.
Secondly, It’s necessary to examine the operations which were
implemented but failed, and to propose and implement better methods in
order to achieve desired results. That is, define the particular change and:
Thirdly, Formulate a new plan in order to go through with these changes.
In order to identify the actors of change it is crucial for the leaders
in charge to promote:
– A clear undestanding between the natural citizens and a democratic
struggle within reach.
– A culture that anticipates the changes.
– A leadership with high responsibility of sustainable democratic
– A great capacity to break the passivity, creating systems of values
and to reduce the fear.
– The creation of voluntary associations within the communities and to
– Consolidate the values of liberty in search for better results for
Who are the actors of change in Cuba?
The actors of change in Cuba are identified and to great extent, they
promote these principles despite the limited information they access.
They have all defined a strategy of peaceful struggle, and of
non-violence, through mobilization of the citizens in order to demand
respect for fundamental rights.
Embrace a broad spectrum of different political group formations with a
design that welcomes all the current parties in the political philosophy
recognized internationally. Formations run from Liberals, to Social
Democrats, passing through Christian Democrats and other less
influential variations but that harmonize with the conformation of these
Among these are the different groups and projects on an emerging civil
society that have stated a difference in the functioning and social
organizations in the revolutionary Cuba. The presence of independent
social organizations with communitarian projections is an enormous asset
in the alternative projects on the island. Directed towards Space of
opportunity in order to strenghten and nurture capable of assuming a new
challenge where the regime has lost the content to act and where the
people demand more attention.
In the same way, the creation of a parallel space of information has
generated suspicions and doubt on an international level, about the
truthfulness of the media of the Cuban regime. This has been possible
through the effectivity of a group of professionals in free journalism
that have broken the models of censure, in order to bring through to the
world and share it, through different channels, with the Cubans that are
survivors of the internal reality on the island.
Figures with political tendencies, but mainly for their enormous effort,
permit a clear identification of the best structured and functioning
actors of change on the Island through an enormous effort by the names
of political tendencies.
The Christian Democracy has two invaluable milestones; The Movement of
Christian Liberation and Osvaldo Paya Sardiñas. The first one, has
outlined a constant citizen mobilization in order to summon the “call
out” of the rights through the reunion to a referendum that permits the
Cubans to choose the most adequate of political and social coexistence.
Today, without appeal of doubt, the MCL is counting on a broad social
base through the mass of people who supposedly is supporting the Castro
model in Havana, only through degradation by fear.
Their leader, Osvaldo Paya Sardiñas has elevated the profile of the
Cuban Democratic Movement, as nobody before him. His perseverance and
intelligence, puts him in the position of a main figure for the destiny
of a future Democracy in Cuba.
The Social Democracy contains two group formations. One is presided by
Vladimiro Roca Antúnez as the leader of The Socialdemocratic Party of
Cuba and the other one is the Corriente Social Democratic Party run by
Manuel Cuesta Morua. They both persist in the implemenation of a
political model with a solid structure of social opportunities.
Vladimiro Roca, strategically speaking, is one of the candidates, with
great probability to play the lead in a leadership role in a post-Castro
Cuba. Whereas Osvaldo Paya Sardiñas has reflected the great majority of
Cubans desire of change internationally, Vladimiro Roca has turned into
a facilitator between the liberalizers in the nomenclauture, the
ultraconservative and the democratic movement in Cuba.
Manuel Cuesta Morua, represents the politician and the intellectual of
future Cuba. As a scholar of his own reality with a very particular
vision. His framework, emarginated from the other groups, has created a
certain singularity in his political propostions. He has motivated the
creation of certain consensus, which unfortunately doesn’t seem to be
completely understood by the actors of change on the Island. The major
common obstacle for the Corriente Socialist and the Social Democratic
Party is in their social base which hasn’t been able to grow to the same
extent as the Varela Project.
Another important actor for a democratic Cuba is Martha Beatriz Roque
Cabello. She has shared a leadership with other prominent figures from
the internal opposition such as René Gómez Manzano and Felix Bonne
Carcaés, all in groups within the Assemble in Order to Promover Civil
Society. This political formation is by many considered a conservative
group among the Cubans in opposition. This denomination has created
distrust among those who defend a less belligerent posture. After all,
the concepts supporting the Assemble doesn’t in its essence distinguish
the appeal of the majority of the Cuban opposition groups.
There are other political formations with a leadership visible all over
the country. For example: Democratic Solidarity and Cuban Liberal Party
that among the others are establishing projects with very attractive
policies. They have capacities to mobilize a public awareness that could
be forming strategic and intelligent alliances with other groups, if all
actors possess the will and culture to form a highly sophisticated
The Independent Library (BI) as an Agent of Change
The Independent Libraries has been one of the most attractive projects
with the greatest impact these last years within Cuba. They arose when
the Cuban governor in a sharp comment declared “…In Cuba there are no
prohibited books, we just lack the money to buy them”. From this moment
a new concept of civil struggle was generalized against the tropical
totalitarianism. The tropical totalitarianism bases its strategy in the
defense of intellectual liberty and the free access to information.
We began promoting “de facto” literature without censure and creating
space to contribute books. There the Cubans for the first time in many
years could find any literature that they wanted to get a hold of
without the obstacle of an ideological dogma or postulated politicians.
A long history of official censure was broken when these community
centers begun distributing information. Information has more than once
been said to mean power. Under the conditions of a Stalinist style
dicatorship, information is a process of growth and intellectual and
human developement, that permits to break the devilish illusions that
the marxistic ideology has given form to in order to paralyze the
citizens. In Cuba, there is an urge for liberty and information. The
libraries provide access to a varied channels of informative material
that is only accessible in spaces that are independent of total control.
Let me briefly introduce you to the history of censorship in Cuba
through some words stated by Fidel Castro. The 14th of June in 1962 in a
reunion with the Cuban intellectuals he said “ everything within the
revolution, outside the revolution, nothing”. These words indicated the
course of the regime in the political culture. From that moment on, the
work and persons who disagreed with the model were persecuted all over
the island. This provoked serious sanctions and Mea Culpa against brave
In 1972, in the Editorial politics Castro “In Cuba, just as in a
question of principle there are books where not even a page, a paragraph
or a word deserves to be published.”. The 9th of July in 1989 in one of
the editorials published bu the el diario Granma official organ of the
only Cuban party, Castro asserted “…we reserve ourselves the right to
inform the people what we think is convenient”.
Listening to the repeated intolerence throughout history we can perceive
the value of the independent libraries and the role that it plays today
and the challenge that it faces in a free and democratic Cuba.
The Independent Libraries are actors of change because they have taught
millions of Cubans to think and enlarge their space of mind in order to
give them orientation in moral values, principles of liberty, of justice
and of democracy. The task of the Indpendent Libraries is not limited to
offer books but they also develop a job in the community to incorporate
the citizens in the mobilization of their rights. They have been so
effective that they now carry the merite of having destroyed the
absolute control of information that had been controlled by the regime
until march 1998. Their attraction is to keep offering information
without censorship in an atmosphere of abolutism and proscription.
The BI are also actors of change because they are annunciating the
necessity to raise the level of political culture among the people for a
future life within democracy. The democracy is a challenge that should
be assumed with responsibility and with a high sense of social
commitment. This is possible to achieve when the people’s cultural
health avoids dictators and dogmatic and populist ideas. Changing the
mentality of a nation is difficult and the tha challenge is even greater
when the error and devaluation has turned into daily life and a
permanent morbidity paralyzed from enthusiasm and the spirit of a nation.
Our centers are opened to the people, and the dissidents on the island
are now counting on a free space in order to consolidate and
professionalize their political projects. These spaces permit to erect
the project that the Cuban nation relies on.
We wish that this event will serve to grow in this spirit and in the
capacity to extend a will to construct an intelligent strategic unity
towards the interior of my country. A strategy capable of mobilizing the
citizens in reclaim of their rights.
We hope that the channels will be more effective and convenient in order
to accelerate the transition. This is necessary. To be on the alert. But
it has a cost. Assumption is the best duty. Being the protagonist of it
doesn’t mean to enter guards on the island, but to share this challenge
by showing solidarity with the Cuban democrats. To globalize the
solidarity towards the Cuban opposition and their leaders should be the
best praise and the greatest assumption by all who loves and defends
liberty in the world.
Many ideas can be introduced to offer support to the Cuban opposition.
Let me finish up presenting some of these ideas for you.
First: To design a massive and transparent handout of assets, including
finances, to the Cuban opposition so that they can equilibrate the small
space that they have seized from the regime. Through this, they may be
able to promote the “No Cooperation” with the system. Moreover, most
convenient would be to send medicine, food, radio receptors, videos and
most important; information about democratic countries and the
opportunities of free systems.
Secondly: That the European countries open their embassies in Havana
towards the sector that giv
es most dignity to the Cuban people. This
idea will permit to oppress the myth about the confrontation between
Cuba and The United States while elevating the solidarity profile from
other regions in the world. In the same way it is of great essence that
Europe helps out looking for a multilateral effect for Cuba in order to
give it the same treatment as Europe gave to the dictatorship Agusto
Pinochet in Chile and to the apartheid regime in South Africa.
Thirdly: To run a media campaign on international level where the truth
about violation of political, economical, labor, social and cultural
rights in Cuba and like many democratic countries get involved with the
Cuban question. It is important to demonstrate how the world political
left show their solidarity to the Havana regime and turn its back on
Cuban people. At the present the violation of human rights is getting
worse and worse and the silence about these barbarities has to be broken
Thank you very much