The Cuban Center - El Centro Cubano, Why?

The Mission of The Cuban Center is to collect, transcribe and publish on the Internet and elsewhere the writings, including discussions, analyses and proposals for the solution of the very difficult issues involved in the rebuilding of the institutions of a democratic Cuba. Such issues range from the return to the Cuban family of its authority and responsibility for the moral and formal education of its children, to the re-establishing of a state of legality and human rights on the island. The invitation is made to independent academics, artists, intellectuals and distinguished professionals inside and outside the island. The Cuban Center wishes to provide a forum where these ideas are published, discussed and analyzed and also to participate in other exchanges where these questions may be under consideration.

The Cuban Center pretends to play an important role during the inevitable changes that will occur inside the island. The ideas of the contributors of The Cuban Center will be offered towards the writing of new laws, decrees, regulations and proyects needed so that there will be a democratic and prosperous Cuba. Said contributions will continue during a democratic future of Cuba.

The dearth of independent thought. The present government with its repression and propaganda machine has created the false impression that there is a monolithic block of thought inside Cuba supporting the current government and its institutions. Nothing could be further from the truth. Most Cuban intellectuals and academics would say privately (with great fear of reprisals to themselves and their families) that the programs and policies of the government of Cuba have failed and that the moment has come for change and the re-democratization of Cuba. It would appear that, according to the present government, there cannot be any viable solution to the issue of change except through the continuation of the same state of things and mild changes within the current leadership. When the opportunity for democratic change occurs, only the present Cuban government proposals of continuation of the existing system or those democratization proposals originating outside Cuba and without the input of responsible independent thought from within the island, would be available for consideration. At that point, the responsible ideas for democratization held by the independent thinkers inside Cuba would not be known.

The democratization of Cuba should be through a peaceful transition. This is the alternative desired by most Cubans outside and inside the island. The timing is right for the creation of this forum and the dissemination and discussion of the work product of independent thinkers and independent intellectuals inside Cuba so that their important ideas and proposals are on the table and can be considered during a transition towards the democratization of Cuba.

The quid-pro-quo problem. The control by the Cuban government of who are the foreign intellectuals that can visit the island and who are the intellectuals inside Cuba that can visit abroad taints the premises and conclusions of studies published as a result of such people-to-people intellectual exchanges. It appears reasonable that the Cuban government would only select and grant exit visas to those intellectuals inside Cuba who are deemed to be "politically correct" and therefore reliable. For the same reason, it could be expected that the foreign intellectuals invited to Cuba and granted entry visas by the Cuban government "are politically correct" and are expected to support, at least in part, the Cuban government proposals. Independent intellectuals and journalists inside and outside Cuba, interested in true change, the rebuilding of a civil society and their democratic institutions, the creation of a state of things where a society exists with all its legal and human rights, multiple political parties, free elections and full democratization simply are not allowed to participate in these exchanges.

A future for Cuba without the participation of all Cubans from within and outside the island is not possible. A very large, successful and proven exiled community exists outside the island with important vested interests in the future of Cuba. Their intellectuals, artists, academics and professionals are invited to participate in the forum of The Cuban Center. The forum intends to promote the exchanges between these exiled academics, intellectuals, artists and their counterparts inside Cuba, and vice-versa.

Participation of The Cuban Center. Whenever, in other forums, the issues pertaining to change and the future of Cuba are discussed, The Cuban Center through its cooperating independent academics, intellectuals, artists and professionals intends to offer the participation of Cuba's independent thought.

The mission statement of The Cuban Center - El Centro Cubano is circulating inside Cuba. It is being discussed by many and we have already heard from some of those interested in participating. Affiliations are well under way.

The volunteers, directors and officers of Cuba Free Press, Inc. Given the current state of repression inside Cuba, this project cannot be undertaken except with the support of a Non-Governmental Organization outside Cuba. The volunteers, directors and officers of The Cuban Center - El Centro Cubano are all and the same as those with Cuba Free Press.

The issue of credibility. Cuba Free Press has the track record of two years' supporting the largest group of independent journalists inside Cuba. CFP has published almost 9,000 individual items (news and op-ed), all originating inside Cuba, on the Internet, including translations into English, French and Russian and in its printed publications, tabloids in Spanish (37 issues) and English (17 issues). They are distributed each month by mail to 11,000 addresses, mainly of all the editors and publishers of daily newspapers throughout the world and 1,200 copies monthly inside Cuba. It is reasonable to expect that the same volunteers, directors and officers will perform equally well.

Communications with the independent intellectuals inside Cuba. These would be via normal long-distance circuits and analog recordings.

Recordings, transcriptions, editing and translations. These would be made by volunteers and contracted editors. Only edited originals of Spanish texts and edited originals of the English texts would be posted on the Internet. The contents of the printed publications of The Cuban Center would be downloaded from those published on the Internet.

Affiliations of important academic and educational organizations outside Cuba. The important National Association of Cuban-American Educators (NACAE) and Cuban National Heritage have formally confirmed their commitment to participate with proposals, analysis of proposals of intellectuals inside Cuba and discussions, etc. The Cuban Center will try to fill the need for mutual exchange of ideas between the independent intellectuals inside Cuba and those outside the island. An organized think tank will be in place with an inventory of independent Cuban thinkers from within and outside the island and an inventory of published ideas and solutions for the peaceful transition into democracy in Cuba.

The Cuban Center - El Centro Cubano

August 01, 2000

Cada trabajo que aparece en estas páginas electrónicas de El Centro Cubano es una creación libre y sin censura del autor o de los autores. Las ideas expresadas en los análisis, artículos, ensayos, etcétera, son responsabilidad individual de su (s) creador(es). Ninguno de los textos presentados representa la opinión de grupos, agrupaciones o colectivos de ninguna índole.

Cuban Center for Cultural, Social & Strategic Studies, Inc.
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