Request to Cuban Regime to Allow Concilio to Meet

OFFICIAL STATEMENT BY CONCILIO CUBANO (CUBAN COUNCIL) CONCERNING THE EVENT SCHEDULED FOR FEBRUARY 24, 1996

The President of the Cuban State Council
and Council of Ministers, Mr. Fidel Castro Ruz

We appear before you by this written communication to request that the Cuban authorities, for the sake of democracy and good sense, recognize not only those agencies set up by the State or sponsored by the government, but also those associations created by citizens anxious to improve their country and driven by the inalienable right of all free men to form associations, independent trade unions, or political parties separate from the state and designed to serve their communities.

The undersigned are Cuban citizens and hold ourselves to be free men, with ideas about the future of the Cuban nation. Aware that we cannot be denied a right which is ours simply because of our human condition, we believe the time has come for our independent organizations, movements, trade unions, parties, and labor unions -which have not been recognized by the official authorities, but which have increasingly earned tacit recognition by the Cuban people, as well as by other governments and institutions throughout the world - to be allowed to exist and for the rights they present to be recognized by virtue of international, moral and historical necessity.

WHEREAS the Concilio Cubano is an incidental, temporary association among various forces which for years have upheld the banner of freedom of speech and which have earned the right to criticism and initiative guaranteed to Cuban citizens in Article 54 of the Constitution;

WHEREAS Concilio Cubano has convened a pluralistic, democratic, and constructive meeting of all Cubans, regardless of whether they have been forced to leave their country in pursuit of new expectations;

WHEREAS this summon has met with a favorable response from broad sectors of the Cuban diaspora throughout the world, who are willing to meet in a spirit of brotherhood to find the answer to our common problem as well as viable options for the Cuban people;

WHEREAS the conveners reside in Cuba, with all the rights provided to us under Cuban law, and as part of the world community we are protected by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which we invoke in support of this application;

WHEREAS there are thousands of us Cubans who have openly convened this meeting, having found support and encouragement for our noble purposes in a large portion of our people and considering ourselves to be the fortunate subjects of a miracle:: the mystic kiss of Jose Marti on the forehead where a star has been born that show us the way to freedom. We will never give this up, just as those other millions of Cubans -even under other flags and citizenships- have never given up their Cuban identity and are morally committed to the suffering land of their birth;

WHEREAS we consider it a duty and an honor to serve the Cuban people, who are overwhelmed by oppression and are losing hope day after day in the face of such misfortune; and representing those who, having pledged their commitment to our history and our country, have apprehended the will of the people in order to accomplish it;

WE RESOLVE the following:

To request the Cuban government for official permission to hold the meeting of Concilio Cubano;

To set the date of that meeting for February 24,25,26, and 27, 1996, to be held in the city of Havana, at a facility that the government may decide to lease or lend to us; or otherwise on the premises of some non-government institution who agrees to provide the facilities for this purpose.

Formally to request the good offices and assistance of United Nations representatives as international monitors over the meeting, as well as the good offices of the conference of Catholic Bishops and of his Eminence, Cardinal Jaime Ortega y Alamino, as domestic monitor over the Concilio Cubano meeting.

For Cuba, as sponsors, watchers, as promoters and friends of Concilio Cubano(names, surnames, and addresses of over 70 members of Concilio Cubano)