On this eleventh anniversary of the first delivery of signatures for Project Varela we want to share with all our brothers our concerns, proposals and dreams.
Today we live in a new time in our history, a time of hope, but also of dangers because the direction that the Cuban process will take in the immediate future is being defined. Therefore this is the time to united demand the plebiscite of the Varela Project. It is time for the National Assembly to fulfill its constitutional duty to ask the people whether or not they want changes in the laws that guarantee freedom of expression, freedom of association, the release of political prisoners, the possibility of having private companies and free elections.
We perceive the widespread dissatisfaction with the prevailing order that comes with awareness of the deception and the indignity with which we are reduced to in a life without rights that has plunged the majority of Cubans and especially workers with a miserable social disadvantage. We Cubans want changes.
We know that in many places still fear is imposed that has become a culture and paralyzes us, while those with power distribute economic positions and live as wealthy capitalists against a marginalized and increasingly poorer majority that they sentence to socialism or death , under the guise of the pipe dream of a prosperous and sustainable socialism. We note with sadness that most Cubans survive due to corruption. The lack of trust in institutions, due to the moral and ethical deterioration and the resources already in many places non-existant, are harsh realities that have severely altered the essence of our society. It is already a sad fact: our people have been dragged into the failure of this regime.
But Cuba is changing. The change does not come from the recent reforms and campaigns of the Cuban government, that although relieving some sector of society, do not turn over the rights to the people. Reforms that hold all the power and decision-making capacity in the small group of people, never legitimized in free elections, which forms the economic-military junta that intends to perpetuate their absolute power.
The change that Cuba experienced today resides in the hearts and minds of Cubans. It manifests and invades areas where for decades the claim of rights and the quest for freedom were fractured.
For over 60 years, many Cubans have risen up against the injustice to which we have been subjected. The dozens of opposition leaders and citizens across the country who worked and still work on the Varela Project demonstrate the unity of the Cuban Democratic Movement. We all want rights, they are a vital necessity.
Let this day serve to recognize and congratulate the managers and signers of the Varela Project that removed this totalitarian system that is built on fear and lack of freedom. The Varela Project does not belong to the past but is the cry of hope for thousands of Cubans who stand in defense of the rights of all. This is the time to renew that claim, this is the time to demand together the plebiscite. For together, as a people, preventing the abduction of our sovereignty and take the first step in the design of our future.
We must be aware, we are in a time of maturation, because a new era for Cuba will be born. All of us Cubans who love this beautiful island should reflect and refocus our lives and purposes so that wherever we are, with the resources at our disposal and with our good will with and for all, we contribute to this new stage that surely will arrive so that it be for the elevation of our nation in freedom and justice and not for degradation or violence.
As expressly stated in the proposal of the democratic opposition addressed to all Cubans whether we are inside or outside of Cuba and made known as The Way of the People:
"We work and struggle with love for Cuba and with the hope placed in the capabilities, the courage and goodwill of all Cubans."
And recognizing that it is only up to us the responsibility of being the protagonists of the changes that result in an inclusive and pluralistic society where all of us can live in peace.
All Cubans, All brothers and now freedom.
On behalf of the Christian Liberation Movement Coordinating Council:
Original Spanish text available here.