Sunday, December 19, 2010

2007 cable: Opposition not explosive enough to trigger regime change

This March 2007 confidential document said that the political opposition's activities were "still worthy and necessary," but did not "add up to a sufficiently combustible mix to bring about regime change."
The memo discusses the opposition's hopes of mobilizing a million Cubans who would "take to the streets to demand significant political and economic changes."
Note: The memo refers to the APSC. That is the Asamblea para Promover la Sociedad Civil or the Assembly to Promote the Civil Society.

Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07HAVANA252 2007-03-15 19:07 2010-12-16 21:09 CONFIDENTIAL US Interests Section Havana

VZCZCXRO6916
RR RUEHAO RUEHCD RUEHGA RUEHGD RUEHHA RUEHHO RUEHMC RUEHNG RUEHNL
RUEHQU RUEHRD RUEHRG RUEHRS RUEHTM RUEHVC
DE RUEHUB #0252 0741936
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 151936Z MAR 07
FM USINT HAVANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1450
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
RUEHWH/WESTERN HEMISPHERIC AFFAIRS DIPL POSTS
RUEHSW/AMEMBASSY BERN 0061
RUEHROV/AMEMBASSY VATICAN 0049
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RUCOGCA/COMNAVBASE GUANTANAMO BAY CU
RUESDM/JTLO MIAMI FL
RUMIAAA/USCINCSO MIAMI FL

C O N F I D E N T I A L HAVANA 000252

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/15/2017
TAGS: PGOV KDEM CU
SUBJECT: XXXXXXXXXXXXNEED A MILLION CUBANS IN THE STREETS


Classified By: COM Michael E. Parmly; Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

¶1. (C) XXXXXXXXXXXX told COM and Pol-Econ Counselor
March 14 that she was withdrawing from her day-to-day running
of the APCS for health reasons and also to focus on the
bigger picture. XXXXXXXXXXXX objective for the next few months is to
plan for how to mobilize a million Cubans to take to the
streets to demand significant political and economic changes.
XXXXXXXXXXXX did not provide any specific target date, although XXXXXXXXXXXX acknowledged Fidel Castro's funeral as one catalyst and the tenth anniversary of a seminal opposition document "The
Nation Belongs to All" ("La Patria es de Todos") that
XXXXXXXXXXXX authored, landing them all in prison.

¶2. (C) XXXXXXXXXXXX said she was worn down from having to act as
leader and also XXXXXXXXXXXX own secretariat for the APCS,
XXXXXXXXXXXX last major event being the congress of independent libraries, that concluded at the end of February with a ceremony at our PAO residence. The recent release from prison of APCS
Vice-President Rene Gomez Manzano allowed XXXXXXXXXXXX more leeway; Gomez Manzano will now share the leadership with Felix Bonne Carcases, the APCS's other vice-president. MBR would still,
inevitably, be reachable to the thousands of members of the
opposition, particularly families of political prisoners, who
turn to XXXXXXXXXXXX for help. However, XXXXXXXXXXXX would not continue the same pace of constituent services that she had delivered in the past.

¶3. (C) The big picture, said XXXXXXXXXXXX, required time to reflect.
XXXXXXXXXXXX admired Oswaldo Paya for his ability to think
and write and strategize. "We have reached a new level of
maturity and need to set aside rivalries," XXXXXXXXXXXX added.
XXXXXXXXXXXX commented that wherever XXXXXXXXXXXX is stopped by total strangers who say they recognize XXXXXXXXXXXX and respect what XXXXXXXXXXXX stands for. XXXXXXXXXXXX believes that XXXXXXXXXXXX has developed a network nationwide that, at the right moment, could very realistically put a million Cubans in the streets. The trick was to aim for the mobilization at the exact point when its
impact would be the most transformational.

¶4. (C) Comment: We agree with MBR's main point that the
current repertoire of oppositionist activities has reached a
certain limit that, while still worthy and necessary, does
not add up to a sufficiently combustible mix to bring about
regime change. In our view, only XXXXXXXXXXXX and Oswaldo Paya have the nationwide name recognition to mobilize anything close to
a million Cubans. In this context it is encouraging to hear
her speak favorably about Paya.
PARMLY

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