With ocassion of the 7th anniversary of "Cuban Black Spring", the Center for the Opening and Development of Latin America (CADAL) launched the declaration "The exercise of rights is no crime" with the aim of raising awareness of Latin American public opinion on the motives why the Cuban regime imprisons its opponents and to claim for their freedom. However, to the initial text we had to add a mention to the tragic death of Orlando Zapata Tamayo, that took place on February 23 after a long hunger strike.At CADAL we are convinced that the permanence of a dictatorship in Cuba, without firm claims of political opening, set a democratic limit to Latin America; and we also consider that this claim has to be led by people with a long history in the defense of democracy and human rights.
This is why for CADAL it is a great honor that the Declaration "The exercise of rights is no crime" has the signature of important human rights referents, such as Dr. Julio César Strassera, attorney of the judgement of Military Juntas in Argentina; Patricio Aylwin, former president of Chile at the begining of the democratic transition; Graciela Fernández Meijide, former member of Asamblea Permanente por los Derechos Humanos, Secretary of CONADEP and former Minister of Social Development; Ricardo Gil Lavedra, Congressman, president of the Commission of Justice, former Minister of Justice and former judge of the Appeal Court where he took part of the Judgement of Military Juntas; prestigious intelectuals like Guillermo O' Donnell, Santiago Kovadloff, Beatriz Sarlo, Emilio de Ípola, Vicente Palermo, Daniel Sabsay, Sergio Fausto, María Sáenz Quesada, Marcos Novaro, Claudia Hilb, Patricio Navia, Guillermo Rozenwurcel, Rafael Rojas, Heinz Sonntag, Demetrio Magnoli, María Matilde Ollier, Eduardo Viola, Héctor Leis, Gabriela Ippólito, Romeo Pérez Antón, Ricardo Rojas, Gabriel Palumbo, Ricardo López Göttig, etc. Followed by well known journalists such as Andrew Graham-Yooll, Pepe Eliaschev, Carlos Lauría, Ricardo Uceda, Daniel Muchnik, Andrés Cañizález, César Ricaurte, Eduardo Ulibarri, Sylvina Walger, Dilmar Rosas, Claudio Paolillo, and their colleagues Alejandro Nogueira and Hugo Machín, former Uruguayan political prisoners; social leaders like Silvia Uranga, Carlos Facal, Roberto Eisenmann, Paulo Uebel, Paola Silva and Carlos Bascuñán; and the Argentine congressmen Juan Carlos Vega, president of the Criminal Law Commission, and Fernando Iglesias, member of the Commission of Foreign Affairs.
The declaration was made public during the Conference "A progressive view on human rights in Cuba" on Thursday, March 18, 2010 in Buenos Aires.