Cuban Dissidents and Exiles Show Unity in Miami

Despite several key leaders unable to attend

Darsi Ferret at the Convention for Democracy in Cuba. Photo from his facebook page.

HAVANA TIMES — Cuban dissidents and exiles met in Miami on Wednesday to begin forging a new united front, despite the absence of some of their most prominent figures.

“There are many differences, but far from weakening us, they strengthen us in our struggle,” said activist Darsi Ferret, based in Miami.

Ferret moderated the “Convention for Democracy in Cuba”, a space for debate in which dissidents from the island and leaders and ordinary citizens in exile expressed their views on the new situation in Cuba following the resumption of relations with the US and what they can do as Cubans to achieve a fully democratic country.

The meeting took place in the famous Calle Ocho neighborhood of Little Havana in Miami, in a cafe and cultural center whose walls are filled with large cartoons of great Cuban artists and even blogger Yoani Sánchez.

Sanchez did not attend the event, nor her husband, Reinaldo Escobar, who according to organizers could not get a plane ticket.

Likewise, Berta Soler, leader of the Ladies in White, and Guillermo Fariñas, did not travel for the event. Both have been critical of the rapprochement between Havana and Washington.

Among the promoters were Eliecer Avila and Manuel Cuesta Morua, who came from the island, and Rosa Maria Paya, daughter of the late Oswaldo Paya and now settled in Miami.

Around a hundred persons attended the convention, which took place on January 28, the birthdate of Cuban national hero José Martí, adding symbolism to the event.

“We don’t have the formula. Each of us is part of that solution and that formula,” said Ferret, calling for unity to articulate the “tools of change.”

“We have been too far from each other, and it is time for that to change. If we come together, our voices will have to be taken into account,” said the activist.

“We’re just starting here together; we need the participation of everyone, this is the little seed. Many people both inside and outside the island are missing. A number came and there are many other faces that would make us happy to see here. No-one is superfluous, we need them all,” said Ferret extending an invitation to those groups who are wary or removed from the initiative to discuss and collaborate together.

“Are we Cubans ready for unity? I say yes, this is just the beginning. The word that prevails today is unity,” said activist Fernando Villa.

6 thoughts on “Cuban Dissidents and Exiles Show Unity in Miami

  • Cuba will need to sign an extradition treaty first to make that happen.

  • Spoke like a true Canadian leftist: you haven’t a clue.

  • If you really don’t know, ask a Cuban.

  • “Freedom and democracy”……what the hell does that REALLY mean?

  • This is an excellent start. The Castro tyranny has succeeded in its dominance over the Cuban people in large measure due to the fact that the opposition has been so fractured. Much of this is to blame on the difficulties that the regime created which made travel and communication between groups challenging. But some of the blame is owned by the dissidents themselves. Fighting over access to international support created distrust. Let’s hope the pro-democracy voices in Cuba can overcome their past and begin to stand up for themselves to help bring freedom and democracy to Cuba.

  • they could start by sending the terrorist juan posada carriles back to cuba.

Comments are closed.