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Cubans asked not to cooperate
By Casto Ocando



Published in El Nuevo Herald

August 13, 2006


(Translated by the Cuban Democratic Directorate)


Cuban Exile Organizations initiated yesterday in Hialeah a new phase in a campaign to promote  civil disobedience in Cuba through messages of “non-cooperation” with the regime which are being divulged between everyday Cubans, as a way to debilitate the government of Havana.

''We are making a call for each Cuban to search for a way to stop cooperating with the dictatorship, in accordance with their reality and particular conditions”, explained Silvia Iriondo, president of MAR for Cuba, one of the ten organizations that are promoting the campaign.

Iriondo asserted that cooperating with the regime “strengthens the repressive pillars used to control the citizens”, and, therefore, “as citizens stop cooperating, the pillars will collapse”.

Dozens of activists, including young people, adults, and members of international organizations congregated on the intersection of 103rd Street and 16th Avenue, in the vicinity of Westland Mall, and handed out fliers and stickers with the campaign’s six basic messages.

''If you send help to a family member in Cuba, ask them not to cooperate with the dictatorship. If you go to Cuba, divulge this campaign of non-cooperation with the dictatorship”, says one of the fliers.

Under the general title of “I do not cooperate with the dictatorship” and “I do want change”, the campaign also includes another six slogans: I do not follow, I do not snitch, I do not cooperate, I do not repress, I do not attend, and I do not repudiate.

''The campaign asks that people in exile with contacts in Cuba help to divulge this message to Cubans on the island,” pointed out Orlando Gutiérrez, National Secretary of the Cuban Democratic Directorate.

Faced with criticism that promoting disobedience could generate violence in this moment of strong tensions on the island, Gutiérrez assured that “we are not summoning to violent actions. This is a call to conscience.”

The initiative developed after Jorge Luis García, a member of the opposition detained in the Kilo 7 Prison in Camagüey, made a call for non-cooperation to all Cubans.

''We call on all youth and adults, workers and professionals, military and regular Cubans, to refuse to cooperate with an unjust system,” stated García in his message.

The transmission of this message led to the denial of visits and medical attention to the prisoner, assured Iriondo.

Gutiérrez added that the non-cooperation movement has grown in a “spontaneous” manner, and that people are beginning to say “no” in various parts of the island when asked to participate in activities planned by the regime.

The activist said they have received reports that demonstrate that “neighbors are not cooperating with the regime.”

''In fact, Granma recently complained in an editorial that Cuban workers are not meeting assigned production quotas. This is non-cooperation,” indicated Gutiérrez.

In the event yesterday, José Luis Garza was also present, member of the International Youth Committee for Democracy in Cuba, who support dissidents from Mexico.

''Although we are in a difficult moment with our presidential elections, Mexicans remain concerned with the violation of human rights and the situation in Cuba,” stated Garza.


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