San Juan Declaration from the First Cuban National Encounter

Below is the full, translated statement released after the first Cuban National Encounter in San Juan, Puerto Rico on August 15, 2015 (translated by FHRC):

“Between August 13 and 15, 2015, the first Cuban National Encounter was held in San Juan, Puerto Rico. 23 organizations from the island and 32 from exile participated, duly represented by more than one hundred of their leaders.

The event was organized by Cubanos Unidos de Puerto Rico. We were prompted by the purpose of seeking ways to reconcile the work of pro-democracy forces with the commitment to restore sovereignty to the Cuban citizens and all their fundamental rights.

To this end, we affirm that to achieve full freedom for the Cuban people and a genuine rule of law, none of the following principles is negotiable:

– the unconditional release of all political prisoners and repeal of all laws that violate fundamental freedoms.

– freedom of speech, press , association , assembly , peaceful demonstration, profession and religion.

– participation of the people in any decision of the nation, legalization of all political parties and free and multiparty elections.

The Cuban National Encounter also agreed:

1. To work in the campaign for a binding plebiscite in favor of free, fair and pluralistic elections under democratic conditions that guarantee the sovereignty of all citizens.

2. To support and sign the Agreement for Democracy in Cuba (1998).

3. To promote the strategy of non – violent struggle, by assisting the training of pro-democracy activists in the methodologies of civil disobedience.

4. To work to tear down the cyber wall in Cuba and help the local opposition to have the technological resources to continue citizen mobilization.

Several papers were presented focusing on the material and spiritual progress of the New Cuba, which will be defined in a second Cuban National Encounter.

A Coordinating Liaison Committee was established for a period of six months, whose main task will be to follow up the points agreed here and communicate them to all organizations, in the spirit of uniting the internal and external opposition.

For us today it is more relevant than ever the phrase by Martí that we intend to fulfill: “Coming together is the watchword.”

San Juan , Puerto Rico , August 15, 2015