Cuban Who Wants New Party Returns

Eliecer Avila. Photo:

HAVANA TIMES — The young Cuban computer whiz, Eliecer Avila, who rose to fame as a student leader when he publically questioned Cuban immigration policy with Ricardo Alarcon, former president of the National Assembly, returned to the island today.

During his tour of several countries, including the United States and Sweden, Eliezer announced his intention to start a new political party in Cuba, something strictly illegal on the island, where the Communist Party is the only one allowed.

According to the “Cuba in Miami” website, Eliezer was welcomed at the Jose Marti airport by Cuban security agents that for several hours held him and checked all his belongings, while his family and some friends waited for his release out of customs.

“They took me to a room without saying much”; they seized my books and literature of political content. Eliecer said he had brought interesting material to study, but immigration officials told him he wasn’t qualified to do so, something only for official analysts.

“It was a thorough search, I had never seen anything like it, Each garment, every paper, every journal, they took out everything and put it on a table to analyze it,” said Avila.

Critical blogger Yoani Sanchez is also expected later Thursday on a flight from Madrid after her 100-day global tour.

14 thoughts on “Cuban Who Wants New Party Returns

  • June 3, 2013 at 9:37 am

    So if the problem for Cuba is, as you note, the lack of a “political culture necessary to create a sustainable democracy”, then wouldn’t the best first step be to allow for new Cuban political parties to form, to allow for freedom of speech and freedom of association? By starting now, while the current regime is still functioning, Cuba could successfully transition over time to a true democracy.

    The alternative, which seems to be the policy for 54 years, is to suppress all dissent in order to keep the regime in power.

    You know, I know, …even Raul Castro knows, that the Cuban regime as it is currently constituted won’t last long after the passing of the brothers. They will get one last shot at transition when the first post-Castro leader takes over. If he fails to offer significant political reform, then the path forward will be destined to result in the systemic collapse you warn of.

    The only alternatives for Cuba are democratic political reform or systemic collapse. I would prefer democratic reform.

  • June 3, 2013 at 8:35 am

    In an interview that Eliecer gave in Brussels, he stated the strategy of the regime during his employ with the Ministry of Information in defending what they perceived were attacks on the Revolution was to do exactly as you suggest. In other words, if I write that the buildings are falling down in Havana, the apologist should accuse me of being a “US-paid troll”. If I criticize the extent of corruption in Cuba, the apologists should say I make them sick. It is a curious strategy indeed.

  • June 2, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    I post here to express my opinions on a subject, Cuba, which interests me intellectually and which I care about morally. I do not come here to, as you say, “brawl” with Luis or ac. It does happen however, that with nearly every comment I post I am targetted with a personal attack by one or more of the regime apologists. That habit reveals much about the intellectual and psychological profile of the typical leftist: ignore the issues, attack dissenters and always try to change the subject to how bad the USA is.

  • June 1, 2013 at 9:57 pm

    I don’t. You project that on every topic. No critique of the Castro regime is mentioned without you bleating, ” But the USA…”

    That is the false dichotomy the Castro’s have used for 54 years to justify their monopolization of power.

    Do you know what’s really funny? If you really did believe the Cuban system was superior the the US system, you would go live in Cuba. But you don’t really believe it. You just like to pose as the revolutionary while living a far better life in America than you know is possible in Cuba.

  • June 1, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    I agree with you 100%, ac, that the main issue in Cuba is the widespread poverty and lack of economic output.

    I appreciate all your comments.

  • June 1, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    Although I’m proud to be on the side of ac and Luis in their brawl against the tag-team of Griffin/Moses, I would like to interject a bit of substance to the fray.

    The relevant question is not “whether” a new party ought to be formed in Cuba. It is the substance of the “program” around which it ought to be formed.

    What is the program which Eliecer is proposing? No one is asking this; and yet, this is the important, central question at hand.

    If the party he envisions has as its program the abolition of ownership of the land and other instruments of production by the Cuban state, then this proposal is the thing around which our discussion ought to revolve.

    His program would then have to project fundamental changes to the Cuban Constitution because, unless I’m mistaken, this constitution makes the status quo legal and permanent.

    For some reason however, the discussion is revolving around whether Eliecer should have the right to organized a new party.

    The primary question of programmatic content is like an elephant in the room which no one wishes to acknowledge or address. Why?

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