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Freedom Collection

Interviews with Pablo Pacheco Ávila

Interviewed December 10, 2023

I would love to help rebuild the ruin that is now Cuba. My aspiration for Cuba is that it will join and insert itself in the free world, in the democratic process where the fundamental rights of the individual are respected, where nobody goes to prison for thinking differently. Where women with a gladiolus in their hands will not be punished for exercising a right. [The gladiolus is the symbol for the Damas de Blanco movement. The women carry this flower as they protest the Cuban regime.]

I want the Cuba of which [Jose] Martí dreamed, dreamed by all of us who believe in freedom and democracy.

[Jose Marti (1853 – 1895) is recognized as Cuba’s national hero. Marti was a writer and essayist who advocated for Cuban independence from Spain.]

There are many differences and I´m glad it’s like that. Everyone thinking the same way has led us to ruin. That is what Fidel Castro created since 1959.

I believe that the task is to unite. I´m not talking about uniting just because I like the word … I think we should unite because Cuba´s peaceful opposition seeks the same goal- democracy in Cuba. Until we unite against that system, against the dictatorship, placing the interests of Cuba above our own personal interests, they will continue to crush us like cockroaches as they have done so far. That is a subject for much discussion.

There is a lot of speculation that the Cuban opposition is divided. I do not think the peaceful opposition is divided. Everyone simply has his own views and that is good. That is what I want for Cuba, that everyone has his own point of view and political leaning. That I do not agree on a project with so and so does not mean that we are divided.

The Cuban regime has tried by all means to divide the Cuban people, not just the opposition. They operate on the precept of divide and conquer. That is how they have lasted fifty plus years in power. But I do not think the peaceful opposition is divided. I believe that they should create a platform so that we may unite and decide what we want — Cuba’s freedom. That Cuba becomes democratic, free, independent.

I think the peaceful opposition should be knocking on doors, convincing the average citizen that there is a different world of opportunities. The ordinary citizen is fed up with this system and we must break that barrier of fear of the opposition with the people and the people with the dictatorship. They must break the barrier of fear and the barrier of the double standard.

That´s it … knock on doors, go proselytizing with the people and show them that [human] rights exist, that a very different world exists than the one the Cuban dictatorship has painted for so many years.