The Agreement for Democracy, known as “El Acuerdo” emerged from within Cuba and exile in 1998. It was signed that year by a broad ideological spectrum of the Cuban opposition to the dictatorship and reaffirmed in Lubin, Poland in 2007, with international support during a ceremony commemorating the massacre of polish workers in that city by the pro-soviet regime 25 years earlier.
The Agreement for Democracy is a unitary document that expresses and explains what units Cuba’s pro-democracy movement and details the steps that should be taken for the re-establishment of a multiparty representative democracy within a genuine Rule of Law.
Some of the original signatories of El Acuerdo have passed away. Many more have since signed it, and continue doing so. As recently as January, 2015, hundreds of pro-democracy activists within Cuba added their names to El Acuerdo.
El Acuerdo is more relevant now than ever before. In these worrisome times when foreign governments and other interests seek to consolidate the dictatorship beyond the physical life of the Castro tyrants, El Acuerdo has become most important. All who wish to see a free, sovereign and independent Cuba should support the Agreement for Democracy in Cuba.
Agreement for Democracy in Cuba
We, Cubans conscious of the need for transcendental change in the political, social and economic structures of our country, gather, beyond our diverse strategies for liberation, to affirm before our people and the international community the essential postulates that substantiate the democratic alternative to the despotism which currently prevails in our homeland.
We affirm that the Cuban nation is one, within the national territory and in diaspora. We believe that all Cubans have the right to be equal before the law and the nation, with full dignity that cannot be subject to any discrimination. We likewise understand that the present regime has shown itself incapable of assuring liberty and justice and of promoting well-being and human solidarity in our homeland. Due to this, from this point forward, we establish, through a great national consensus and as a clear alternative to the current oppression, this:
Agreement for Democracy in Cuba
We recognize as the fundamental principle of the new Republic that Cuba is one and independent, whose sovereignty resides in the people and functions through the effective exercise of representative multi-party democracy, which is the government of the majority with absolute respect for the minority.
All governments must respect the sovereignty of the people, therefore, at the end of the current tyrannical regime, the provisional or transition government shall be obligated to return sovereignty to the people by way of the following measures:
- Guarantee the people’s participation in the decisions of the nation through the exercise of universal, direct, and secret voting to elect its representatives, and the right to seek public office.
- Immediately issue a general amnesty for the liberation of all political prisoners, including those who have been sentenced for fictitious common crimes, and cancel the pending political cases against Cubans in exile, so as to facilitate their return to the homeland and their reintegration into the national society.
- Organize an independent, impartial, and professional judiciary.
- Recognize and protect the freedom of expression, of the press, of association, of assembly, of peaceful demonstration, profession, and religion.
- Protect the Cuban people from arbitrary expulsion from their homes as well as against all forms of detention, search, confiscation or arbitrary aggression, and from violation of their correspondence, documents and other communications, and defend all Cubans’ rights to privacy and honor.
- Immediately legalize all political parties and other organizations and activities of civil society.
- Refer to the Constitution of 1940, when applicable, during the transition period and convoke free elections with the supervision of international organizations within a time period not greater than one year, for a Constituent Congress which will establish a Constitution and which, during its existence, shall have authority to legislate as well as to oversee the executive. Having thus achieved democratic legitimacy, it shall call general elections in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.
- Recognize and protect the freedom of economic activity; the right to private property; the right to unionize, to bargain collectively and to strike; the Cuban people’s right to genuine participation in their economic development; access to public health and education, and initiate the reestablishment of civic values in education.
- Take immediate steps to protect Cuba’s environmental security and protect and rescue the national patrimony.
- Propitiate and guarantee the professionalism and political neutrality of the Armed Forces and create forces of public order whose rules of conduct shall adjust to the principles of this Agreement.
Cuba shall resurrect from its own ashes, but it is the sacred obligation of all Cubans – both within the oppressed island and in diaspora – to place our hands on the plough without looking backwards but rather into the deepest part of our hearts, to convert those ashes into fertile seeds of love and creation. Now, as 100 years ago, our national aspiration remains the construction of a Republic based on the formula of triumphant love:
WITH ALL AND FOR THE GOOD FOR ALL
Signed February 20, 1998. Reaffirmed: August, 31, 2007.
La Habana, Cuba.