Pro-Democracy Agenda Is Key To U.S. Policy Toward Cuba

By US-Cuba Democracy PAC Executive Director Mauricio Claver-Carone

The Cuban exile community has long been labeled by the outside world as simply "anti-Castro," within the community, we've always considered ourselves more broadly as "pro-democracy." Today's news is focused on Fidel Castro ceding power to his brother Raul Castro. Many believe that, in fact, Raul has already been in "de facto" control for the last couple of years, as Fidel's health has deteriorated. Either way, the goal remains a transition in Cuba towards democracy, the rule of law and the free market.

That implies the immediate release of political prisoners, recognition of basic human rights and the dismantling of the repressive state security apparatus. Our community will remain focused on its "pro-democracy" agenda until a genuine transition (not simply a succession of absolute power) takes place. The Cuban people deserve no less after over four decades of repression. It is imperative that the "pro-democracy" agenda also remains the goal of U.S. policy, as it will be instrumental during the days, weeks and months to come.