To the Cuban people on Human Rights Day
Fifty-five years ago, on Dec. 10, 1948, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It stated in its preamble:
• Recognition of the inherent dignity and of equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.
• Disregard and contempt for human rights resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind [and] the advent of the world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief, and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people.
• It is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law.
With these plain and indeed self-evident truths in mind, we, both Cubans and non-Cubans living in the democratic world, would like to express our solidarity with all brave men and women of Cuba still struggling for their inalienable rights and human dignity under the difficult conditions of an oppressive, totalitarian regime.
Our thoughts and prayers go first to the political prisoners sentenced to long terms in prison just for their commitment to the universally recognized rights and freedoms, and to their families. We call on all democratic governments of the world to express their strongest possible condemnation of these inexcusable acts of repression, blatantly violating international obligations of Cuba and urge them to ask the Cuban government for their immediate release.
We share the conviction that the time of dictatorship in Cuba is coming to an end. There will be no succession after Fidel Castro, no cosmetic changes of totalitarian system after he is gone, but the genuine return of Cuba from the totalitarian captivity to the family of the world's democracies.
We are committed to do our best to support your noble cause. Let us work together, inspired by the ideals of José Martí, a genuine revolutionary and voice of Cuba within the community of nations. Cuba must not and will not remain a forgotten remnant from the Cold War, a kind of open-air museum of a system that discredited itself and failed. We believe that the dreams you inherited from Martí will come true sooner than your jailers and persecutors would wish, and you and all Cubans will be free.
Madeleine Albright, Former Secretary of State (USA); Marcos Aguinis, Argentine writer; Harriet Babbitt, former US Ambassador; Elena Bonner, Russian Human Rights activist; Marek Edelman, Polish leader; Jan Figel, MP, Slovaquia; Bronislaw Geremek, former Polish Foreign Minister; Andre Glucksmann, French Philosopher; Vaclav Havel, former President of the Czech Republic; Jeane J. Kirkpatrick, former US Ambassador; Jacek Kuron, former Polish anti-communist leader; Mart Laar, former First Minister of Estonia; Mario Vargas Llosa, Peruvian novelist; Cecilia Malmstrom, Swedish member of the European Parliament; Markus Meckel, MP, Germany; Adam Michnik, Polish journalist; Dana Nemcova, Czech human rights activist; Martin Palous, former Czech anti-communist leader; Tomas Pojar, People in Need, Czech Republic; Elsa Tió, Portorican poet; Ricardo Bofill, Comité Cubano pro Derechos Humanos; Frank Calzón, Centro por una Cuba Libre; Sebastián Arcos Cazabón, Cuban human rights activist; Manuel Jorge Cutillas, businessman; Himilce Esteve, University Professor; Joe García, Fundación Nacional Cubano Americana; Orlando Gutiérrez, Directorio Democrático Cubano; Angel de Fana, Plantados por la Libertad; Carlos Franqui, Cuban writer; Guillermo Cabrera Infante, Cuban novelist; Sylvia Iriondo, Mujeres Contra la Represión en Cuba; Huber Matos, Cuba Independiente y Democrática; Carlos Alberto Montaner, Unión Liberal Cubana; Eduardo Pérez, businessman; Oscar Peña, Comité Cubano pro Derechos Humanos; Jesús Permuy, Unidad Cubana; Diego Suárez, Cuban Liberty Council; Alina Fernández Revuelta, presentadora radial cubana, daughter of Fidel Castro; Zoé Valdés, Cuban novelist.