…as a means to resolve the dilemma between Continuity vs. Change
By Osmel Ramirez Alvarez
HAVANA TIMES – Spurred by recent events in Cuba, a group of Cuban citizens without ties to pro-government politics or opposition organizations are creating a “proposal for a National Plebiscite as a way out of the crisis our people suffer; and we have created a civilian platform “Cubanos Por el Cambio”, for this end.
Something unprecedented happened on July 11th: a widespread and spontaneous social uprising, in spite of the Cuban Communist Party government’s strict social control.
The price of “calming down” these protests is condemnable and a peaceful and just path forward is needed for the crisis we are experiencing, thereby preventing greater bloodshed, and suffering for Cuban families.
Thus, the proposal for a PLEBISCITE, so that the Cuban people are the ones to decide which path we follow, with their votes.
The objective is “that the Cuban people won’t need to take to the streets again to demand “freedom” or “change” amidst the pandemic, there won’t be any more victims of violence, and conflicts and differences between Cubans will be settled peacefully at the ballot box.”
In order to do this, we have drawn up a “7-point plan”:
1) The Communist Party (PCC) Government (via the Council of State) will need to call a popular referendum that must take place within two months of the call, asking the population the following: – whether they want to continue with the current socio-political system; – or whether they want to change it for a different one, (CONTINUITY vs CHANGE).
2) The plebiscite must be monitored by international observers, and no matter what the result, this must be a preface to the end of the US embargo, which by the way would no longer have any grounds.
3) Once the plebiscite has been called, popular protests must stop so that the election expresses public opinion, and there must be respect and dialogue between every political actor – both pro-government and the opposition, in and outside of Cuba; but nothing should be used as an excuse for the plebiscite to not take place and its objectives not to be met.
4) Repression must end in all its forms, so that an atmosphere that favors tolerance and respect is created. Every political prisoner detained beforehand and those arrested in the protests must be released, pardoned or amnestied; and in the run-up to the election, no political opponent or citizen must be arrested or kidnapped, nor can independent journalists be prevented from doing their job during the referendum.
5) Propaganda in favor of one option or another can only be disseminated online and on one radio/TV show: Mesa Redonda; with a debate every Saturday between 6 – 8 PM, where advocates of both options can equally participate; and no other [State] media platform can be used, so that they are both equally defended; and there will be no public events, so as to prevent the spread of COVID-19 infections.
6) The PCC government must legitimately organize Cuban society if 50% or more vote for CONTINUITY; but if the opposite occurs, they must respect the binding nature of the referendum and its commitment to our people and the International Community, allowing a democratic transition of power.
7) If the CHANGE option wins with 50%, or more of the vote, another popular referendum will be held in the same way, so that the Cuban people can decide their future political system; which must be held within three months and the PCC will have the right to present a new proposal for a democratic project/country; and the opposition can present one option or many options for a democratic project/country, with the support of only a thousand voters needed.
Let the outcome be what the Cuban people really want!
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