Who are the people in the campaign and what are their affiliations, if any?
Most of the people involved in the campaign emigrated from Cuba during the 1990s and settled in the US, Canada, Europe and Latin America. Several of them were political refugees. They now work as academics, journalists, translators, programmers, photographers and artists. None is the member of a political or governmental association.
How was the campaign team formed?
Most of the team met in the Cuban blogosphere. A core group had collaborated on other human rights projects, most recently a successful fall 2009 campaign to pressure the Cuban government to release Panfilo, a man jailed for being filmed saying there was hunger in Cuba.
Why are they doing this?
The campaign team is united in their desire for a Cuba in which all fundamental human and civil rights are respected.
What are their sources of financing and other support?
The campaign receives NO outside financing or logistical, strategic or operational support. Both the hard costs (website, software, telecommunications services) and the soft costs (an enormous number of person-hours) have been assumed by the team members themselves.
What has the campaign done?
Organized a petition through which Cubans and other individuals around the world (45,000 and counting) can condemn the wrongful death of Orlando Zapata Tamayo in February 2010, demand the release of all remaining political prisoners from Cuban jails, and affirm their wish that Cuba respect the basic human rights of all its citizens.
What are its short and long-term goals?
In the short-term, to prevent the death by starvation of Guillermo Fariñas and any other hunger-striking dissidents and prisoners of conscience, as well as to obtain the release of all Cuban political prisoners. In the long term, to effect a transition to a Cuba in which there is the right to life, liberty and security of person; freedom of opinion and expression; freedom of peaceful assembly and association; and a government based on the will of the people as expressed in periodic and genuine elections.
Is the campaign being coordinated with the hunger strikers in Cuba?
No. Occasionally, we receive messages from hunger strikers conveyed by their relatives or human rights activists within Cuba. Fariñas and other prisoners of conscience are aware of the existence of this campaign and have signed the petition. That is the extent of the coordination.
Is there a set of campaign principles?
Human rights, democracy, transparency and non-violence.
How does this campaign differ from past efforts to promote human rights in Cuba?
This is the first human rights campaign to challenge a repressive regime through the use of e-democracy on a massive scale, joining the myriad voices of Cubans in and out of Cuba; important American, European and Latin American intellectuals and artists; elected officials from all political stripes; and citizens from over 103 countries. It is our hope that the campaign serves as the first step in a peaceful transition to a democratic Cuba.
What can I do to help?
Sign the petition, and ask others to sign it! And stay tuned for campaign updates.