Skip to comments.Cuban Dissident Calls for Referendum
Posted on 07/25/2004 12:51:32 PM PDT by wagglebee
HAVANA -- A former political prisoner whose case was highlighted by President Bush urged Cuba's government Friday to hold a referendum on whether to change the communist island's political system.
In a 10-page report called "The Cuba We Want," Leonardo Bruzon Avila and fellow dissident Carlos Rios Otero called for the referendum and laid out a plan for Cuba's transition to a multiparty, democratic system and free-market economy.
The report was delivered Friday to the offices of Cuban Justice Minister Roberto Diaz Sotolongo. There was no public reaction by the President Fidel Castro's government to the recommendations.
The proposal echoed dissident Oswaldo Paya's Varela Project, long ago rejected by Cuban authorities. Varela Project volunteers submitted 25,000 signatures to Cuba's parliament petitioning for a referendum on whether voters favor civil liberties such as freedom of speech and the right to business ownership.
Many of the 75 dissidents arrested and sentenced to long prison terms in a crackdown last year were Varela Project volunteers, accused of working with U.S. diplomats to undermine the island's government. They denied the charges.
Seven of the 75 have since been released for health reasons.
Bruzon is a former political prisoner who was arrested more than a year before the March 2003 crackdown. He was one of four dissidents who, after never being tried in court, were suddenly released without explanation in June.
Bruzon was relatively unknown in Cuba before his arrest but gained fame through international campaigns for his release.
He was on Amnesty International's list of Cuban prisoners of conscience, and mentioned by name, along with several other Cuban political prisoners, by Bush in an October speech announcing measures to crack down on American travel to the communist-run island.
At the time of his release, Bruzon said he wanted to leave Cuba soon to live in France, which granted him a visa after his family became alarmed about his health during a hunger strike in jail.
Wishfull thinking. Good luck. Over Castro's dead body literally.
The Cubans with the brains and balls have mostly left the island.
Those remaining resemble your average Democrat voter in America.
Cuba will get a democratic referendum the day that the liberals/socialists are annihilated.
I think you gravely insult the Cuban people. They are nowhere as stupid/sheep-like/traitorous/moronic/perverted as your average US democrat robo-voter or deceased democrat voter.
Bullets, not ballots will bid adieu to El Jefe.