Cuban Dissidents Seek Greater Unity

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Cuban Dissidents Hope to Build Mass Organization

Former political prisoners and prominent dissident Guillermo Fariñas announced on Wednesday the creation of a new group that seeks to become a “dynamic mass organization” and achieve greater unity within the opposition in Cuba.

The new organization will take the name of the existing Union Patriotica de Cuba (Patriotic Union of Cuba), or Unpacu, headed to date by Jose Daniel Ferrer and which will now merge with Fariñas’ Fantu group.

Fariñas, 2010 recipient of the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize, said that the new Unpacu aspires to be a model in the face of the tradition of would-be strongmen “that has characterized Cuban politics” and it will be open to all members of the peaceful opposition who are ready to embrace teamwork.

The new Unpacu will have a “coordinating council” comprised of Fariñas, Ferrer and other former political prisoners along with Elizardo Sanchez, the spokesman for the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation, among others.

Among its objectives, the members of Unpacu intend for it to become “a solid and dynamic organization of the masses” that uses a range of methods to advocate civil disobedience on the Communist-ruled island.

“We want to get into every Cuban home with our proposal,” Ferrer said.

Regarding the recent election of Miguel Diaz-Canel, 52, as Cuban first vice president and his embodiment of a generational shift within the government of octogenarian Raul Castro, Ferrer said that it is merely designed present a false image of change in Cuba.

He also said that, for the present, Diaz-Canel cannot be described as a “Cuban Gorbachev.”