March 16, 2016
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
There is an immense concern about the fate of our nation that is affecting millions of Cubans. If the current plans of the regime to transfer power to its heirs and political henchmen are materialized, we Cubans will simply confront a new incarnation of this ruthless dictatorship. Corruption, nepotism, lack of values, violations and blatant indifference to the pain of the people are just a few among the many illnesses of this government.
The new policies towards Cuba spearheaded by your administration pose the risk of legitimizing the deeply entrenched Cuban regime. Moreover, it would do so without receiving anything in return. The friendly gestures, formal recognition and official negotiations bestowed on the Castros by the United States government have actually yielded a significant increase in violence against the opposition, especially against women activists. It is no wonder then, why a record number of Cubans are currently fleeing the island.
The Castro Regime will not generate its own change. It has remained in power for nearly six decades by carrying out horrific human rights violations. In Cuba, human rights violations are systemic; they are an institutional part of the Regime’s so-called judiciary system.
We would never imagine that the democratic world would legitimize the Castros. These individuals have destroyed the well-being of our nation. From firing squads and political assassinations to political imprisonment, thousands of Cubans inside and outside the island have had their lives taken by the Regime because of their advocacy of a Free Cuba.
The most relevant issues about the adverse effects of Castro’s dictatorship on the Cuban people will not be part of the agenda of your visit. The presidential delegation includes CEOs from top American corporations as well as members of Congress who are eager to trade with the regime, including the Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce, as well as the SBA Administrator. Why there are not human rights advocates among them? Sadly, it’s more than obvious that the main objective of this visit is to eagerly solidify business deals.
If the quest for commerce continues to be placed above the support of the pro-democracy and civil rights movement in Cuba, the legacy left by your administration will be one where the suffering of the Cuban people was prolonged. Yet, your best contribution would be to act as a facilitator of a true democratic transition in Cuba.
When members of the international community turn their backs on our demands and proposals, they actually facilitate the regime’s escalation in violence, as well as the further fracture of the Cuban society. To those who visit Cuba as if it were some type of exotic zoo of sorts without acknowledging the crude reality that the Cuban society is going through, we remind them what Edmund Burke once said:
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."
We respectfully remind you, sir, of your own words in February 1981, when as a student leader speaking against the South African apartheid regime and those corporations investing there, you said:
“There’s a struggle going on. It’s happening an ocean away. But it’s a struggle that touches each and every one of us. Whether we know it or not. A struggle that demands that we choose sides. Not between black and white. Not between rich and poor. No. it’s a harder choice than that. It’s a choice between dignity and servitude. Between fairness and injustice. Between commitment and indifference. A choice between right and wrong.”
In spite of all the odds appearing to be stacked up against us, the oppressed, we have full confidence in our victory. History teaches us of the plight of those seeking civil justice and freedom. We know that seemingly impossible roads will miraculously open up for us, as if life itself stepped in to make things, as they should be.
Foro de Derechos y Libertades & Asamblea De La Resistencia Cubana
Foro de Derechos y Libertades was founded on January 20, 2015 and includes a diverse group of Cuban opposition organizations including artists, reporters, and activists.
Asamblea De La Resistencia Cubana is a coalition of over 50 Cuban Resistance Organizations both inside and outside Cuba.