We respectfully request that proposals contained in the enclosed Declaration are presented at the Summit of the Americas to be held next April 2015 in Panama
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The IV Forum to Promote Democracy in the Continent and all its participants, meeting in the School of Law of the Florida International University, express our deep concern about the harmful influence of the Socialismo del Siglo XXI (Socialism of the XXI Century) developed by the undemocratic strategy of the Sao Paulo forum in Latin America, with the complicity of the governments of Argentina, Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Venezuela. Sadly aware of this reality,
That democracy is a system of government that allows people to exercise state sovereignty by freely choosing their leaders, which in turn are required to ensure alternation in power, defense and enforcement of the rule of law, as well as respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms;
That some authoritarian rulers of our continent apply aggressive policies to promote its authoritarian and interventionist influence and this strategy has turned the just struggle for democracy, social justice and the right of peoples into an urgent priority, which if neglected, it would succumb to its hegemonic ambitions ;
That in extreme cases like Cuba and Venezuela their rulers depend on terror and lies to subjugate their people, killing and imprisoning opponents and causing a massive stream of exiles and destroyed economies; all of which leads to the division of families and the extreme poverty of their people.
We affirm that, in cases of Cuba and Venezuela:
1. It is for the people of Cuba and Venezuela respectively to determine their present and future as their primary responsibility in shaping their destiny;
2. It is for the democratic countries of the continent to exert their influence in support of the Organization of American States and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in their efforts to promote the principles of the Betancourt Doctrine and condemn the interventionist policies of Cuba and Venezuela and their violations of human rights.
3. It is for the Member States of the United Nations and the Organization of American States, and for specialized institutions such as Amnesty International and the International Institute for Electoral Systems (IFES),to actively seek the support of the international community to the people of Cuba and Venezuela in their aspirations to establish a rule of law that guarantees freedom of political prisoners and security of individuals against the coercive power of government and to initiate a democratic process to allow free and fair elections, through which these countries return to the community of democratic nations to participate in the mechanisms of Continental Scope cooperation.
We affirm that, in the case of Cuba in particular:
The international community and the institutions mentioned in paragraph 3 above support:
1. diplomatic efforts to ensure compliance with the request of the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon in the frame of the last Summit of CELAC that the Cuban government ratify the International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights and Economic Rights, Social and Cultural Rights which have already been signed by the government of Cuba;
2. diplomatic efforts in the frame of the Summit of the Americas for its members:
· to negotiate with the government of Cuba the immediate repeal of the articles of the Cuban Constitution that prevent the exercise of the freedoms of assembly, expression and information for a period of 24 months to initiate a process for a peaceful transition;
· to facilitate within that period the transition to democracy through multiparty and free elections empowering Cubans and their children of voting age inside and outside the island to freely participate as candidates and voters;
3. all legitímate efforts to negotiate with the Cuban government legal safeguards for the release of all political prisoners or those under house arrest for political reasons, with full guarantees to exercise the same freedoms noted above and the ability to participate freely in the process during the transition period.
- That the countries participating in the Summit of the Americas commit themselves to strengthening democratic processes in Cuba and Venezuela in accordance with the instruments, agreements and declarations signed by the countries of the region in the framework of the Organization of American States and other international forums.
- That these proposals are sent to the delegations of countries attending the Summit of the Americas, to be held in Panama between 10 and 12 April 2015, and that they be accepted as a collaboration of social actors as promoted by the Summits of the Americas (SCA).
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