Cuban Biscet calls for public defiance of ‘illegitimate’ Cuban government
Oscar Elias Biscet declaration says the Cuban government is not legitimate
Cuban dissident and former political prisoner Oscar Elias Biscet on Wednesday called for a new mass movement that will demand democracy and human rights “in public places, in a non-violent political defiance” of the government.
Flanked by other dissidents at a Havana news conference, Biscet said the “Project Emilia” is starting as a drive to gather signatures for a declaration that rejects all parts of the communist-run government as “illegitimate.”
The second phase, he added, will be to present the declaration and signatures before international bodies such as the International Criminal Court in the Netherlands and the Interamerican Commission on Human Rights, part of the Organization of American States.
“But the fundamental work is here in Cuba, to try to create a grand civic mass movement” that will push for democracy and human rights “in public places, in a non-violent political defiance of the government,” he told El Nuevo Herald by telephone from Havana.
Eventually, the movement may become a political party, added Biscet, 51, a physician and founder of the Lawton Foundation for human rights and viewed as one of the most respected and conservative critics of the Fidel and Raúl Castro governments.
Biscet said “Project Emilia” was named in honor of Emilia Teurbe Tolón, who sewed the first Cuban flag in 1849.
“We have seen, through the passing of more years than we care to remember, how the communist regime has not ceded one atom of freedom and has resisted, rigidly and arbitrarily, any change that would guarantee a dignified life to our people,” the declaration noted.
“We have no other alternative … than non-violent political defiance to realize the freedom of our people,” it added.
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