For the first time in almost 60 years, the Cuban government has acknowledged and responded to the work of key democratic proponents and activists. As a result, the government has taken action by arresting several of our activists or targeting them with calculated smear campaigns.
Cuba Decide has gained international support from more than 13 presidents across the region (12 former and one acting). We have built a coalition of more than 60 dissident organizations both on and off the Island, and count on the support of many notable organizations such as the Human Rights Foundation, The Organization of American States (OAS) and dozens more.
On April 3, Jose Daniel Ferrer, the UNPACU leader who was arbitrarily imprisoned in Cuba, was finally released since being detained since October.
On March 2, Rosa María Payá, promoter of Cuba Decide, held a formal meeting with the Vice President of Paraguay Hugo Velázquez, who assured her that country firmly maintains their position as a defender of democracy in the Americas. Thereafter, Ms. Payá met with the Paraguayan Foreign Minister to denounce Cuban interference in the internal affairs of countries such as Bolivia, Chile and Colombia.
In March, promoters of Cuba Decide who are residents in Europe, held a successful demonstration in Madrid with the support of local citizens and politicians to ask the congress for their support of the Cuban people’s right to decide.
In February, Ms. Payá travelled to Europe to meet with the European Union’s Parliament to advocate for the upholding of a resolution made between Cuba and the EU based upon principles of democracy and human rights that Cuba has violated on many counts. Specifically, Ms. Payá emphasized the wrongful imprisonment of Jose Daniel Ferrer and demanded his immediate release.
Cuba Decide launched a successful social media campaign called “100 Days 100 Voices” in an effort to raise awareness and demand the freedom of José Daniel Ferrer. The campaign also urged support for the U.S. Senate Resolution 454 and House Resolution 774.
Many influential voices were featured in this viral campaign, including: current and former United States Congressmen Mario and Lincoln Diaz-Balart, respectively, Colombian Senator, Paola Holguín and Secretary General of the OAS, Luis Almagro.
Rosa Maria Payá met with the Constitutional government of Bolivia and the president, Jeanine Añez, to seek international support for democracy in Cuba and to expose the interference of the Cuban dictatorship’s intelligence services (G2) and their intentions of destabilizing democracy in Bolivia.
In the following days, the Bolivian government sovereignly decided to suspend its diplomatic relations with the Cuban dictatorship given the constant hostility of the Cuban authorities and the insults from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs throughout the occasion of Payá’s visit.
Cuba Decide unveils an impactful, promotional video, with over 50,000 views, that is directed towards Cubans and allies alike, on and off the Island. The video serves as a call to action to promote the steps of establishing democratic processes in Cuba.
The video, featuring Cuban born individuals and created by Cuba Decide platform leaders, highlights the suffering of those who are living under the regime as well as the trauma that has been experienced by Cuban people over generations.
Following the violent and arbitrary arrest of UNPACU leader and Cuba Decide promoter, Jose Daniel Ferrer, Cuba Decide successfully urged the EU Parliament to pass resolution 2019/2929(RSP) that not only demands the immediate release of Ferrer, but also the immediate halt of Cuba’s interference in the affairs of Latin American countries.
The resolution also demands the fulfilment of the binding obligations established in the PDCA, including the suspension of the agreement when the regime is in violation of human rights, as per the established provisions.
Upwards of 600 people from the opposition, both on and off the Island, congregated at the Path Toward Change held at the Freedom Tower in Miami, FL, to ratify the Agreement for Democracy and to denounce the arbitrary imprisonment of Jose Daniel Ferrer, Fernando González, José Pupo Chaveco and Roilán Zarraga Ferrer.
This unified display of solidarity reaffirmed Cuba Decide’s unwavering renunciation of the dictatorship’s violation of human rights.
UNPACU and Cuba Decide promoters across the island called for a national demonstration where citizens attempted to gather in public spaces with a sunflower in hand. The participating cities included: Camagüey, Holguín, La Habana, Las Tunas, Matanzas and Santiago de Cuba.
Despite the 100+ arrests prior to, and following, the demonstrations, the protest was successful in drawing international attention to Cuba and the suffering of its people under the regime where their rights are continuously violated.
This demonstration was an act of peaceful protest in response to the repression faced by members of the opposition, and was timed to coincide with the official visit to Cuba by European Union Representative, Federica Mogherini, who has stated that Cuba is a one-party democracy.
Cuba Decide and the Red Latinoamericana de Jóvenes por la Democracia (Network of Latin American Youth for Democracy) partner to honor Martyrs of Democracy in 23 cities across Europe and the Americas.
The Miami Dade County Commission honors the legacy of Oswaldo Payá and Harold Cepero with a Proclamation on July 22nd as the Day for the Victims of Communism in the Americas.
The Swedish government agrees with Cuba Decide and refuses to ratify the EU agreement with Cuba. Sweden stands in solidarity with the Cuban people in their quest for freedom.
Rosa Maria Payá is awarded the Morris Abram Award at the 2019 UN Watch Annual Gala in Geneva.
The OAS and the international press expose the Cuban Regime’s practice of human trafficking, specifically pertaining to doctors they send abroad who are denied wages. They also expose the Cuban Regime’s practice of expulsion when 35 activists were expelled from the country.
Cuba Decide successfully launches NO al Sistema (NO to the System campaign) – a massive election monitoring and reporting campaign. The government tries to silence opposition voices by arresting and even deporting activists. Citizens report on the fraud taking place in numerous electoral colleges across the Island, at times including video and photographic evidence. More than 334,113 people are informed of their rights using email, mass texting, social media, and door-to-door canvassing.
Cuba Decide supporters and partners participate or organize events in front of Cuban Embassies in 18 cities across the world as part of the “Marcha de los Prohibidos” (March of the Prohibited). The events generate a unified call against the Cuban political system, the president, and the upcoming referendum. Hundreds of Cubans in exile participate and some are met with counter protests and violence organized by Cuban government officials, such as in Brazil. The events generate awareness of a variety of human rights violations both on and off the Island.
Cuba Decide, together with thousands of Cubans, participate in a successful grassroots campaign on the 60thanniversary of the dictatorship. “Not one more year of dictatorship”, or Ni1+, is the rallying call that engages a record number of Cubans on and off the Island. Although intended only for the first week of 2019, the campaign organically grows and remains strong through February 25, and evolves into a rejection of the new constitution imposed by the government.
The ex-presidents of Latin American and Spain (IDEA) declare their support for the Cuba Decide campaign.
Cuba Decide successfully pressures the Cuban regime to withdraw their delegation from the inaugural ceremony at the Summit of the Americas in Lima, Peru.
High-level meetings held at the Summit of the Americas in Lima, Peru draw international attention on rights violations. Participation in the event also exposes the non-democratic process, led by Raul Castro, to appoint a new president in Cuba.
Vice President of the United States, Michael Pence affirmed the support of the United States with the Cuban people during a press conference with Ms. Payá.
The United States Senate passes Senate Res. 224 – A resolution recognizing the sixth anniversary of the death of Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas, commemorating his legacy and commitment to democratic values and principles.
Cuba Decide launches a civil disobedience campaign, calling upon citizens to nullify their ballots with the word “plebiscite” or abstain from voting. Cubans have an opportunity to voice their opposition to the fraudulent succession and support a legitimate process for the Cuban People.
Cuba Decide monitors the elections at electoral colleges across the country. Results show 37% of voters abstain or invalidate their electoral ballots, despite residing in places where high levels of manipulation and violence imposed by State Security are registered. This is an unprecedented act of defiance in Cuba.
Cuba Decide brings international attention to the Cuban government’s repressive system during the second annual Oswaldo Payá Life and Liberty Award, held in Havana Cuba. Former Presidents Andres Pastrana and Jorge Quiroga, of Colombia and Bolivia, members of the Democratic Initiative of Spain and the Americas (IDEA) group, are prohibited from entering the Island to receive the prize. As a result, outrage among the Colombian and Bolivian government ensues and is documented by international media and international institutions.
Cuba Decide implements election monitoring across the Island, calling upon citizens to nullify their ballots with the word “plebiscite”, or to leave their ballots blank. Cuba Decide dispatches more than 30 teams to monitor election counts throughout Cuba. The Cuba Decide team establishes that more than 30% of ballots are nullified at polling places where monitoring took place. The Cuban government officially reports it at 20% and then later reduces it to 15%.
Cuba Decide holds a mass in Havana and brings together a record number of opposition members and private citizens to peacefully celebrate the life and legacy of Oswaldo Payá and Harold Cepero on the 5th anniversary of their assassination.
Cuba Decide provokes an international incident during the first annual Oswaldo Payá Life and Liberty award ceremony in Havana. The Cuban Government does not allow numerous former heads of state and the acting Secretary General of the OAS to travel or participate in the award ceremony. International awareness is raised on the Cuban government’s continued human rights violations.
Rosa Maria Payá and other Cuba Decide leaders present Cuban Parliament with more than 10,000 new signatures in support of the Varela project, calling for a public deliberation to change to a democratic multiparty system.
ORGANIZATIONAL SUPPORT OF A PLEBISCITE
Asociacion de Expresos Politicos Cubanos de Tampa
Center for a Free Cuba (CFC)
Circulo Democratico Municipalista de Cuba
Comite Apoyo a las Damas Blanco Laura Pollan
Comite Cubano Pro Derechos Humanos
Consejo para la Libertad de Cuba
Consejo Presidio Politico Cubano
Cuba Independiente y Democratica (CID)
Cuban Aid Foundation
Cubanos Unidos de PR
Cultivo Una Rosa Blanca
Damas de Blanco
Cubano Federation Latinoamericana de Mujeres Rurales
Federation Mundial de Expresos Politicos
Cubanos Foro Promoción Democratica
Continental Cuba Foundation
Fundacion Nuevo Pensamiento Cubano
Fundacion para la democracia panamericana
Fundacion para los Derechos Humanos en Cuba
Global Community Action
Institute de la Rosa Blanca
M.A.R. por Cuba
Movimiento 30 de Noviembre
Movimiento DemocraciaMovimiento Somos Mas
Partido democrata Cristiano de Cuba
Solidaridad de Trabajadores Cubanos(STC)
The Cuba Corp
The Cuban American Nacional Foundation
Union Expresos Politicos Cubanos Zona NE
Union Liberal Cubans
Unión Patriótica de Cuba (UNPACU)
Alianza Democratica Oriental
Asociacion de Abogados Independientes
Centro Cuba Lex
Coalician Central Opositora
Comision de Derechos Humanos Y Reconciliacion Nacional
Corriente Agramontista de Abogados Independientes
Corriente Socialista Democratica
Institute Cubano pm la libertad de expresion y prensa (ICLEP)
Movimiento Cubano Reflexion
Padre Conrado p/c Reinaldo Perez
Partido por la Democracia Pedro Luis Boitel
Partido Republicano de Cuba
Partido Social Democrata Cubano
Partido Solidaridad Liberal Cubano
Proyecto Democrata Cubano (PRODECU)
Union Social Comunitaria Cubana
Fundacion Familia Bacardi
Cubanos Residentes En Eslovaquia