Eduardo Cardet Concepción, National Coordinator of the MCL, released a statement received by our sister news agency in Spanish, ACI Prensa, saying that “thousands of Cubans are in the streets today peacefully demonstrating, demanding freedom and an end to repression and misery.” They are doing so, said MCL, “in order for the tyranny to end.”
“The MCL, as part of this people tired of oppression and injustice, is fully identified with their desires. We support our brothers and sisters of the Christian Liberation Movement and all Cubans who demonstrate peacefully, making use of this legitimate right,” the statement said.
The statement demands “the release of political prisoners, the annulment of the repressive laws against freedom, recognition of economic rights of free enterprise for Cubans, recognition of each Cuban’s–inside and outside the island–right to vote and to be elected.”
The statement concluded with the demands “[t]o hold elections with all these guarantees” and “Freedom Now!”
The MCL was founded by Catholic dissident Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas in 1988 to achieve a peaceful democratic reform in Cuba, explicitly inspired by the social doctrine of the Church. Taking advantage of a loophole in the Communist constitution, Payá organized a collection of signatures to introduce democracy in Cuba. As a consequence, the movement was persecuted nationwide and 42 of its leaders ended up in prison during the 2003 wave of repression known as the “Cuban Spring.”