MIAMI – Groups of exiled Cubans in Miami have issued a petition on the change.org website calling for free elections in Cuba and the possibility that nationals residing abroad could participate in elections.
The group Cultivamos una Rosa Blanca (We Cultivate a White Rose) explained that it is the same request formally made last week to the government in Havana.
“Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives,” said a statement by the organization, which seeks to reform Cuban electoral law partly through its petition entitled “Cuba: Recognition of voting rights of Cuban citizens residing abroad.”
According to the proposal, the new era of relations between the United States and Cuba presents an opportunity to demand legislative reform, in which citizens, including those living abroad, can elect the members of the National Assembly of People’s Power.
“We need the support of thousands, including support of Cubans in Cuba and non-Cuban friends of democracy, so that the Cuban authorities notice broad support of public opinion to claim such a fundamental right as the right to universal and secret suffrage,” added the statement.
In late 2014, the U.S. and Cuba began a process to normalize diplomatic relations. The thaw was completed in July 2015, when interest sections in Washington and Havana began to function as embassies.