In response to the European Parliament Resolution of March 11 regarding Cuba, we intellectuals, academics, social activists, critical thinkers and artists of the Network in Defense of Humanity declare:
1. That we share the sensibility shown by the European parliamentarians about political prisoners. Like them, we call for the immediate and unconditional freedom of all political prisoners, in all the countries of the world, including those of the European Union.
2. We deeply regret, as they do, the death of the common prisoner, Orlando Zapata, but we are opposed to his death, the first “… in almost 40 years” according to the Parliament, being distorted for other political ends that are contrary to those in defense of human rights.
3. That urging “… the European institutions to give unconditional support and encouragement for the initiation of a peaceful political transition toward a plural democracy in Cuba” is not only an act of interference, but it also presumes a sole model of democracy which certainly shows itself to be more and more insufficient and questionable. We reject that proposal because of our commitment to the principles of non-intervention and self-determination of the peoples—principles defended by the UN as well.
4. The search for and deepening of democracy presumes, among other things, to transcend the formal and invent new forms that are authentically representative, and that are not necessarily restricted to multiple parties. As is well known, often the decisions over the great problems of the world are made unilaterally by small interest groups with great power, over and above the regime of parties.
5. That to try to justify the interference into the internal political affairs of the Cuban people by manipulating the case of Orlando Zapata through the media—a common delinquent who by no means was a political prisoner—coincides with the counter-insurgency policies that are being applied in Latin America to hold back or distort the emancipatory processes of transformation that are in motion. This is in addition to the criminal blockade that the Cuban people have been subjected to, for the simple fact of not accepting impositions and for defending the right to decide its destiny with dignity and independence.
6. That we share the concern shown by the parliamentarians about respect for human rights in Cuba, but we extend that concern to the whole world. In the same way that you are concerned about the case of the delinquent who died (in 40 years there has been no previous occurrence), we invite you to demand the end of the occupation of Gaza and the aggression against the Palestinian people, which has caused not one, but thousands of deaths; an end to the intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan that has sown death and terror in towns and cities; of the bombardments of those places with the argument that it is defending democracy; an end to the double occupancy of Haiti; the closing of the prison in Guantánamo and the return of that territory to Cuba, to whom it belongs; and the return of the Malvinas Islands to Argentina. And certainly, we call for an end to the blockade, which violates the human rights of the Cuban people and which puts in doubt the moral authority of those who demand humane treatment for a delinquent when it is denied for an entire people.
7. The economic and media assault that Cuba is being subjected to, even before the death of the prisoner Orlando Zapata, constitutes an act against the human and political rights of a people that decided to forge a different path.
We demand respect for the internal processes of the Cuban people in deciding and exercising its democracy, and adherence to the universal principles of no intervention, in accordance with the United Nations.
Network in Defense of Humanity.
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