Stefania Lapenna

Despite the official claims from the communist regime in Cuba that the tyrant Fidel Castro is recovering, and could soon return to power, the reality on the ground is that he has terminal cancer, as a TIME article wrote quoting US intelligence officials, and will never see his throne again.

However, when it comes to Cuba, most of the media's focus has been on Castro's illness and his brother's handling of power. Very little attention, if any, is put on the unprecedented activities being carried out by the internal opposition.

The Assembly to Promote the Civil Society is a coalition of 365 political parties, movements and independent libraries. Its leader is the 60-year-old independent economist Martha Beatriz Roque Cabello. The majority of the opposition groups in the island are members of or support the Assembly. Unlike more soft coalitions such as the Oswaldo Paya's Varela Project, which demand reforms to the constitution of the communist regime, the groups belonging to the Assembly look for democratic regime change. They don't believe in the possibility of any democratic change coming from the Cuban rulers.

In spite of the new wave of repression started after the Assembly's first national congress held on 20th of May, 2005, the coalition is moving forward with new important projects. One of these is a Civil Disobedience and Non-Cooperation campaign promoted with the coordination of the Miami-based exile groups. Named "Yo No Coopero Con La Dictadura, Yo Si Quiero El Cambio" (I do not cooperate with the dictatorship, I want the change), this unprecedented initiative aims to promote the importance of non-cooperation with the repressive forces and the peaceful struggle for freedom through civil disobedience, methods that were successfully used by the freedom fighters in the former communist regimes of Eastern Europe. Several political prisoners spoke to Radio Martì from their prisons, expressing their endorsement of this campaign and calling on the Cuban people to do the same. The prisoners of conscience supporting the initiative are putting it into action by disobeying orders from the prison guards, even if this leads to consequences, like being continuously beaten or taken to incommunicado (solitary confinement) cells as punishment due to their valiant resistance.

Each of the Assembly's groups agreed to a shared action plan with respect to the campaign: they will be engaging the Cuban population in every town and city. Wherever they meet people, they will distribute informative material explaining what the Assembly is and what its initiatives are about.

Stefania Lapenna

Stefania Lapenna is an Itialian freelance writer and blogger living in Sardinia, Italy. She has been published in the Jerusalem Post, l’Opinione and Il Foglio in Italy and is currently a contributor to Tech Central Station, the American Thinker and Ragion Politica (Italy).

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