The MCL and 'Cuba Decide' present the National Assembly with more than 10,000 signatures calling for a plebiscite
On Thursday Members of the Christian Liberation Movement (MCL) and the Cuba Decide project presented the National Assembly of the People's Power with over 10,000 signatures of citizens endorsing a plebiscite so that Cubans can decide on the system under which they wish to live.
Rosa María Payá Acevedo, who heads up Cuba Decide, explained to DIARIO DE CUBA that the signatures were delivered by Rosa María Rodriguez, a member of the MCL's Coordinating Council.
Accompanying Rodríguez were other backers of Cuba Decide, like the former political prisoner of the “Group of 75,” Félix Navarro and his daughter the "Lady in White" Saylí Navarro.
The signatures, 10,009 in total, came in addition to the 25,404 collected and delivered to the National Assembly by the Proyecto Varela, an initiative by the late leader of the MCL, Oswaldo Payá Sardinas, Rosa María Payá Acevedo's father.
"We are asking for a response to all these signatures and the Cuban people through the holding of a binding referendum so that the Cuban people can choose the system under which they wish to live, and decide their future, as the President (Barack Obama) called for two days ago, and we know that President Macri (Argentina) has also done," explained the activist.
"The citizens who have signed it are all demanding a shift to a plural system, to a democratic system," he said. She noted that more than 30,000 exiles have also signed the petition.
Payá Acevedo said that "at first the officials at the National Assembly didn’t know what to do, they were confounded" by the activists' attempt to deliver the signatures.
"They called State Security, but they were apparently instructed to accept the petition, which is also constitutional, and the Department of Correspondence accepted all the signatures and issued a confirmation," he said.
The plebiscite, an objective of the Cuba Decide campaign, is also one of the objectives of the Proyecto Varela, presented by Oswaldo Payá to the National Assembly in 2002.
At that time the regime responded by declaring the initiative "unconstitutional" and amending the Constitution to establish the "irreversibility" of socialism in Cuba.
Dozens of the 75 dissidents sentenced during the "Black Spring" of 2003 supported the Proyecto Varela.