“President Bush appeared with menaces towards Cuba. While Cuba answered to him.” In the national television, the head of Cuban trade unions, Pedro Ross announced results of the referendum carried out in the country on constitutional amendment which fixes socialist character of Cuban governing and defines it as “eternal and invariable.” As a result, almost 99 percent of registered voters (over 8 million people) signed the petition. Within several days, in the Freedom Island, 130 thousand polling districts were created.
That was the Cuban leader, Fidel Castro, who called his citizens to participating in the poll, just after the western liberator Bush appeared with ultimatum: Cuba carries out serious democratic reforms (at first, a referendum on introduction political freedoms, democratic election to the National Assembly, liberation of political prisoners, annihilation of the dictatorship of the only party, free market economy etc.), and then the US takes off the economical embargo and weakens the sanctions. The Bush statement was made against the background of Cuban visit of ex-US president Jimmy Carter, whose behaviour in the Freedom Island did not correspond so much with US official position.
According to BBC, that are Cuban dissidents, both in the country and abroad, who actively demand to carry out democratic reforms. In Cuban National Assembly a petition signed with 11 thousand people arrived, which demanded to widen civil freedoms.
Overwhelming majority of Cubans do not want to be dissidents in their own country. At the same time, western mass media seriously insist on public groups which look after order in the polling district being directly connected with Cuban authorities, so, many Cubans went to the referendum just “being afraid of loosing the job or becoming the object of Cuban secret service.”
It should be reminded that June 12, in Cuba, an unprecedented march for socialism took place, in which 9 million of Cubans participated. That was the respond of Cuban citizens to their leader’s call who wanted to see “the whole Cuban nation being mobilized.”
Sergei Yugov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Vera Solovieva
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2002/06/19/42842.html
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969