The following communique was sent from Cuba and translated from Spanish:

Cuba, March 23, 2015


A group of organizations involved in various civic and political platforms in Cuba will conduct a Parallel Summit on the island, connected with the Civil Society Summit in Panama and the Parallel Summit that democratic organizations of Cuban civil society plan to conduct parallel to the meeting of Heads of State and Government of the Americas, to be held on April 10 and 11.

We the organizers believe that the inclusion of Cuba in the hemisphere is and should be an insertion of all: State, society and citizens.

This Parallel Summit in Cuba is essential for two key reasons: it is the first time that our country will participate in a forum that covers the entire hemisphere, which is a special moment and a critical juncture for us Cubans to look to the Americas as a whole; and it is also the first time that democratic governance -recognized in the oldest documents of regional democratic institutions and human rights and are part of the Organization of American States (OAS)- will be presented in front of the government of Cuba.

At a time when all subregional organizations in the Americas recognize the value and centrality of democracy, fundamental freedoms and human rights, and at a time when citizens occupy the foreground, as has just recognized Luis Almagro, newly-elected Secretary General of the OAS.

This Parallel Summit is being organized in Cuba by leaders of various organizations, with prominent figures of the Group of 75 who have remained in Cuba, and who cannot attend the Summit of Civil Society in Panama.

The Parallel Summit will discuss the United Message of the Civil Society to the Summit, the Inter-American Democratic Charter, various documents from different platforms of civil society and separate proposals for constitutional and legal reform being driven in and out of Cuba.

To ensure the participation of representatives of the greatest possible number of organizations, the Parallel Summit will be held in different regions of the country.

Our shared motto is: I Am Cuba. Let us turn this slogan into a hashtag and send the message of democratic Cuban civil society to the world.

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