"Working together for a free Cuba"



The Prague Memorandum
Final Declaration and Working Document.

During the days of 17, 18 and 19 September we have met in Prague, capital of the Czech Republic, to support the struggle for democratic change in Cuba. Former heads of state, current ministers and representatives from the European Union and Latin America, leaders from international and regional organizations, intellectuals, academics, human rights activists and members of non governmental organizations, members of parliaments from Europe and Latin America, and representatives of the Cuban civic movement have participated in this forum. Participants have included representatives from the full range of the ideological spectrum, among them social democrats, Christian democrats, liberals and conservatives.

It is inconceivable and unacceptable that people continue to be imprisoned in Cuba for their ideals and peaceful political activity. We know that the majority of Cubans desire non-violent democratic change in order to establish freedom and democracy in their land. Furthermore, all of us here are convinced of the necessity of this change due to the contact we maintain not just with the pro democracy movement, but also with the silent majority of citizens who are paralyzed by the fear of repression.

The true source of sovereignty lies in the exercise of their innate rights by the citizens of any given country. A people are not sovereign if they cannot exercise these rights, if they cannot freely elect their political representatives from different ideological options, if they cannot count on the existence of an independent judiciary to balance the power of the government. We defend Cuban sovereignty when we defend the right of the Cuban people to democracy and when we insist that the Cuban government comply with the international agreements on democracy and human rights that it has signed. Without a general amnesty for all political prisoners, recuperation of civil liberties and free general multiparty elections the Cuban people cannot fully exercise their sovereignty.

Our goal is to help create the conditions so that the Cuban people can bring about democracy through a non-violent transition. Our priority is to strengthen the civil society and civic movement that are bringing about that democracy. In order to accomplish this, we seek to set out common objectives for a general plan of support for democracy in Cuba that can be implemented in a coordinated manner at different levels and from different parts of the world. The task of general coordination and support for this plan will correspond to the International Committee for Democracy in Cuba.

The following mechanisms must be established in order to help create the conditions so that the Cuban people can freely choose the political and economic system they desire:

· Creation of an international network of non-governmental organizations that have expressed solidarity with democracy in Cuba.
· Creation of an international network of parliamentarians in support of democracy in Cuba.
· Creation of a President’s Task Force in Support of Democracy in Cuba.
· An international commission of experts that will pool resources from the transition experiences in Europe and Latin America to aid the Cuban people in their own transition to democracy.

These mechanisms will function according to a general work plan whose priorities will be:

To insist that the international community does not and will not tolerate any human rights violations in Cuba. This is vital in order to support the current victims and prevent future violations.

The following measures will be implemented in order to contribute to this goal:

· Coordination of the international adoption of political prisoners by MPs and NGOs.

· Preparation of a list of members of the Castro Regime directly linked to human rights violations and seek that they not be granted travel visas to democratic countries.

· Mobilization of youth, women and civil society from around the world in order to condemn human rights violations in Cuba, which can only be achieved through a general amnesty and recuperation of civil liberties.

To achieve greater international recognition and legitimacy for the Cuban civic movement through:

· Support for the current European Common Position on Cuba.
· Creation of a regional Latin American Working Group that will work to open the doors of the Latin American embassies in Havana to contact with the Cuban civic movement.
· Creation of a President’s Task Force in Support of Democracy in Cuba, which will offer itself as a mediating body to aid the Cuban opposition in establishing fundamental agreements on cooperation and coordination that will lead to a peaceful transition to democracy and rule of law.
· Furthermore, it will be a vital priority of this plan to aid the Cuban people in their transition to democracy through the creation of an international commission that will pool the experiences of transition in Europe and Latin America in order to aid the Cuban people in the construction of a democratic polity.

We acknowledge the ‘Manifesto for the Liberty of Prisoners of Conscience in Cuba’ presented by José María Aznar at this summit and share its objective of an international campaign for a general amnesty for Cuban political prisoners.

The ICDC commits itself to long term work on behalf of Cuban democracy so that one day all Cuban citizens live in dignity and be able to fully exercise their rights as human beings. This summit marks the beginning of a concerted international effort to aid Cuba in becoming a full member of the world democratic community. We are convinced that through their own efforts and with international solidarity, Cubans will one day enjoy the true peace that only freedom brings. It is to this worthy goal that we fully commit our efforts.

For the Committee:
Marcos Aguinis
Patricio Aylwin
Kim Campbell
Philip Dimitrov
Václav Havel
Jeane J. Kirkpatrick
Mart Laar
Luis Alberto Lacalle
Cecilia Malmström
Luis Alberto Monge
Matti Wuori

Source: Lawton Foundation (Dr. Oscar Elías Biscet organization)