Dissidents Present Democratic Reform Plan

Wednesday, July 13, 2011
From AFP:

Cuban dissidents push for opening to democracy

Leading dissidents in Cuba have launched a reform plan seeking a democratic opening in the Americas' only one-party Communist-run state.

More than 40 prominent members of a range of outlawed small parties and movements signed and issued the document calling for new laws and a plebiscite as a transition to democracy after more than five decades of communism.

They called upon their more than 11 million fellow Cubans to carry out a "genuine national dialogue and start the process of legal changes that exclude no one, so that Cubans can keep the positive things they have built, and change however they care to, the things they want to change."

Dubbed the "People's Path," the document was signed by dissidents including Guillermo Farinas, Laura Pollan, Martha Beatriz Roque, Hector Maceda, Elizardo Sanchez and Oswaldo Paya.

It calls for Cubans to be restored their freedom of movement inside and outside Cuba; and for freedoms of the press, association, and religion to be guaranteed; and for all people to be eligible for elective office regardless of party affiliation.

"When there is space in which people can participate that will be created by legal changes, citizens' rights to national dialogue will be respected and free elections will be called for all public posts and an assembly to rewrite the constitution," the plan text adds.