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
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
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
· 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
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:
Jeane J. Kirkpatrick
Luis Alberto Lacalle
Luis Alberto Monge
Source: Lawton Foundation (Dr. Oscar
Elías Biscet organization)