VII Summit of the Americas: Recommendations from Cuban civil society
The following document, “Recommendations from the Cuban democratic civil society with respect to the mandates for the action of the Seventh Summit of the Americas” is signed by members of the delegation, and signifies an agreement of Cuban civil society present during the VII Summit the Americas:
Recommendations from the Cuban democratic civil society
regarding the mandates for action on the VII Summit of the Americas
We, members of the Cuban democratic civil society, recognize and support the mandates given by the governments in order to strengthen the policies of inclusion, respect for gender identity, the environment, education, health, racial and ethnic origin, and those addressed to issues of migration and safety and security in our hemisphere.
We are at a point of weakness and threats to democratic stability in the region, and we consider that respecting and strengthening the Inter-american Democratic Charter, according to the speech by Luis Almagro, newly elected Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), can guarantee that prosperity with equity can become a reality in our hemisphere.
We work from within and for the inclusion of all social actors and members of the civil society in the Americas regardless of their political or ideological definition, so that there are no political prisoners and prisoners of conscience, incarcerated for nonviolent actions, especially in the cases of Venezuela and Cuba.
On the basis of these premises, we support the eight mandates for action of the heads of state and government of the Americas to the VII Summit. In particular, citizen participation and democratic governability, on which we believe sustainable prosperity and equity, are dependent. In this regard, we urge towards the creation of mechanisms that will allow full implementation by the states, with active participation of the civil society of our continent.
We consider it indispensable for democracy that the plurality of approaches is recognized as a way to prevent authoritarian tendencies, which from the states, or from related civil organizations, harass, persecute, annul or criminalize the expression of different views in the political, social, or religious fields.
We reject all policies tending to discriminate nationals in the implementation of commercial, social security, and political strategies; and we support policies that will revert that situation as well as steps that recognize national peculiarities, irrespective of their origin.
We do not believe it possible that a vigorous civil society can be created without mechanisms of fiscalization, that guarantee the independence of civil society respect of states. We call upon the heads of states to call upon the respect of institutions, and the laws within each one of our countries, as a way to recognize the rule of law, citizen rights, and social and political stability in our region.
Taken into account that the heads of state and government of the Americas charged the OAS with the fulfillment of mandates on citizen participation and democratic governability, we call on this intergovernmental body to insist on requesting the government of the Republic of Cuba to be inserted in the regional mechanism, as well as creating the necessary conditions so that the Cuban democratic civil society can participate in its scenarios through the registry of its institutions.
In that regards, we consider it important to provide flexible requirements for registration as established in the guidelines for civil society participation in the activities of the OAS (Resolution 1217/99), on the basis that the governments may deny the state recognition for political reasons to prevent the participation of civil society in various events and spaces. In this regard, both the guarantees for free elections as well as electoral laws based on pluralism and multi-party elections.
On the other hand, we express our concern for the lack of visibility of the human rights issue in the mandates of the governments of the Americas, as forseen in articles 7 and 9 of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, which makes it easier for many governments to mask its violations of such rights. We find it important that international and regional pacts in this field are signed and ratified, as well as the strengthening of mechanisms of monitoring, verification, protection and promotion of human rights, as well as organizations independent of governments are able to monitor real human rights situation in each country.
The fulfillment of the mandates of this Summit of the Americas may depend on the implementation of the OAS bodies; we believe, however, that such fulfillment depends, above all, on the performance of civil society organizations.
Cuba´s democratic civil society will carry out a forum in the year 2016 with the view to discuss and to put in perspective the basic themes of this Summit of the Americas. Finally, we are inviting all organizations in the civil society of the region to participate in that forum.
Given in Panama City, on the 9th day of April
To view the original document (Spanish) with signatures, click here.