Telička presented the Miami Declaration signed by Cuban opposition organizations. The message is clear: free and democratic elections
The Members of the European Parliament discussed the relations between the European Union and Cuba, as well as the preparations for the first EU-Cuba Joint Council meeting on Tuesday 13th March, in Strasbourg. During the debate, Vice-President of the European Parliament Pavel Telička presented a declaration signed by over 35 Cuban opposition organizations.
During the discussion, Telička pointed out that Cuba is a country where a constant violation of basic human rights is still taking place and that should be taken into account when building EU-Cuba relations. That is why he has repeatedly met with representatives of the Cuban opposition. “During her speech, Federica Mogherini referred to having friends in Cuba. I also have Cuban friends, but very different ones from the ones High Representative spoke of” Telička said. Telička attended the Cuban Dissidents Rally in Miami in January, where the Miami Declaration was signed by all Cuban opposition organizations and citizens present.
The declaration was signed on the eve of election to be held in Cuba for the selection of deputies and provincial delegates. “Through this declaration we manifest our total rejection of the spurious and anti-democratic process that is about to take place in our country of birth.”. Telička presented a part of the declaration in which dissident organizations condemn the course of the election, “Millions of Cubans who reside outside the island are not allowed to vote. For those within Cuba, the choice is limited to the one and only candidate listed for each available position. That leaves Cuban citizens, of course, with no freedom of choice.”
“We all recognize that the most important issue in the process of Cuban democratization is the holding of free elections, with a plurality of political parties and programs allowed to compete on equal terms. Cubans within the island and those abroad should all be allowed to participate, and the elections should be held with the presence and supervision of international observers,” Telička read, “We appeal to HR/VP Mogherini to finally and unconditionally support the plea for free and democratic elections in Cuba, and we expect that the European Parliament will continue to extend its support to the Cuban people.”
During the Dissidents Rally taking place in Miami, Pavel Telička had a very interesting debate with participants, including the Sakharov Prize laureate Guillermo Farinas, on the current situation in Cuba, the need of free elections, and the ratification of the EU-Cuba Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement. Cuba is still a single-party democracy. The Cuban government does not respect most human rights. Some people are forbidden to leave or arrive in the country. It is about time that free and democratic elections take place on the island.