Open Letter from Cuba from Oswaldo Payá to Aung San Suu Kyi

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Dear and Respected Aung San Suu Kyi:

I have learned that on November 7, an event will take place in your country that the Military Junta would like to present as elections.

In Cuba, we have not had truly free, democratic and pluralistic elections since 1948. Two continuous dictatorships have deprived the people of this right. The most recent one has been in power for fifty one years and also holds events that it calls elections.

There is a great distance between Myanmar and Cuba and both our cultures are diverse and rich, but there is something that unites our peoples: hope.

We are not different as human beings since we both want to live in peace, with freedom and enjoying all human rights. The children of Myanmar have the right to these rights because they, like us Cubans, are human beings.

If hope unites us, solidarity should unite us too; this is the reason why we demand for your people the same thing we demand for the Cuban people.

In Myanmar there will only be free elections if there are true freedom of expression and association, if all political prisoners are released, if Aung San Suu Kyi can walk freely on the streets, talk on the media and enter and leave the country at ease, if pluralism is respected, if all parties can present candidates under the same conditions, and above all if they are fair and free of fear and repression so that the people can choose their own representatives.

The Christian Liberation Movement fights peacefully for the rights of Cubans and for democracy, rejecting hatred and violence. My brothers in the Movement and I express our greatest respect and gratitude for your efforts in the peaceful fight for the rights of your countrymen, for peace and for freedom, which is fighting for all mankind. In Cuba there are political prisoners; citizens that have been imprisoned only for defending the rights that you defend. Many others are in exile.

You are not alone; we are united by hope and solidarity.

We demand free elections for the people of Myanmar and for Cuba too.

We send you our fraternal embrace from Cuba.

Oswaldo José Payá Sardiñas

Christian Liberation Movement

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