In a clear set-back in its migrations policy and demonstrating the closed features of its one party political regime, the government of Cuba is blocking the progressive referent Manuel Cuesta Morúa from attending to the Congress of the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) taking place between May 21 and 24 in Chicago, United States.
This is a retaliation of the Cuban regime to the attempt of Cuesta Morúa to organize an Alternative Forum to the II Summit of CELAC, for which he was detained last January 26th for four days in a cell where he was interrogated and then released with a precautionary measure that forces him to attend every Tuesday to a police station to certify his presence until the day of his trial. Cuesta Morúa is being accused of the Orwellian crime of “Spreading false news against international peace”, according to Article 115 of the Cuban Criminal Code.
Last year, after the migratory reform in Cuba at the beginning of 2013 that now allows some peaceful dissidents to leave the country and then come back to it, Cuesta Morúa was able to participate in the LASA Congress in Washington and for this year he had organized a panel entitled: “Cuba: the memory of democracy”.
Manuel Cuesta Morúa (Havana, 1962) has 23 years in the Cuban democratic opposition. He graduated from History at Universidad de La Habana in 1986 and holds several graduate studies. Between 1986 y 1991 he worked for several official institutions. From 1988 to 1991 at Casa de África at Museo del Historiador in Old Havana, where he was expelled for his political ideas. That same year he enters the Corriente Socialista Democrática Cubana, a dissident organization alternative to the regime. In 1993 he starts working for the Commission of Human Rights and National Reconciliation. In 1998 he founded, with other political, civic and social organizations the Mesa de Reflexión de la Oposición Moderada and in 2002, Arco Progresista that he currently heads and that gathers organizations of social-democratic origin that were dispersed till then inside and outside Cuba. Currently, with other organizations and citizens, he coordinates the Nuevo País Platform and coordinates with other activists the project Constitutional Consensus that has achieved the participation of most of the democratic, civic and human rights organizations inside and outside Cuba. He is a member of the Citizens Committee of Racial Integration and has headed the project Violencia Cero.
The undersigned coming from academic, journalism, politics and cultural background show solidarity with our colleague Manuel Cuesta Morúa, expressing our support to his human right to free speech and we specially value his brave and peaceful work with other fellow democratic activists in the promotion of a political opening in Cuba.
Graciela Fernández Meijide, Tomás Abraham, Liliana De Riz, Vicente Palermo, Luis Alberto Romero, Beatriz Sarlo, Gerardo Caetano, Ricardo Brodsky, Emilio de Ípola, Jorge Sigal, Rubén Chababo, Daniel Sabsay, María Sáenz Quesada, Manuel Alcántara Saez, Marcos Novaro, Sylvina Walger, Aníbal Pérez-Liñán, Guillermo Rozenwurcel, Juan Octavio Gauna, Claudia Touris, Daniel Muchnik, Héctor Schamis, Patricio Navia, Romeo Pérez Antón, Fernando Iglesias, Lilia Puig, Carlos Gervasoni, Antonio Camou, Gabriel Palumbo, Daniel Pérez, Héctor Leis, Fernando Pedrosa, Sabrina Ajmechet, Aleardo Laría, Pablo Avelluto, Cecilia Noce, Armando Capalbo, Sybil Rhodes, Jorge Streb, Claudia Guebel, Mario Scholz, Ricardo López Göttig, María José Valdez, Carlos Facal, Eduardo Viola, Patricio Gómez Talavera, Sebastián Acha, Leandro Querido, María del Pilar Callizo, Andrés Cañizález, Marianne Kohn Beker, Marino González, Ricardo González Alfonso and Raquel Gamus.