Dissident calls for reform in Cuba

Miami, May 15 (EFE).- Cuban dissident Manuel Cuesta Morua, the leader of the Arco Progresista group, called in Miami on Wednesday for a "new national project" that undertakes the structural reforms needed on the communist-run island and integrates all political positions and ideas.

For real change to occur in Cuba, Cuesta Morua said, significant reforms must be implemented that bring change to the economic and political model in the area of "democratization and the relationship with power."

At a press conference organized by the University of Miami's Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies, or ICAAS, the Cuban opposition figure appealed to "respect for political and cultural diversity" to build a new national structure.

In that regard, he discussed a "new legitimacy of the political process" that must base itself on the free will of the citizens and not on that of an "elite."

Cuesta Morua, who is on his first trip abroad thanks to the reform of the island's immigration laws that entered into force last January, also warned about the racial problem that afflicts Cuban society.

The Cuban dissident, who is black, said that the phenomenon of racism is serious with non-white Cubans living in the poorest neighborhoods and not receiving remittances from abroad because the majority do not have relatives who live outside the island.

In that sense, non-white Cubans have little access to a university education or jobs in the tourism and services sector, he said.

The head of Arco Progresista, which is of social democratic persuasion, appealed to reason over passion for achieving a change in Cuba and insisted on the idea of a nation where "a single ideological design" does not dominate.