Ex-President of Poland speaks on communism
Alexandra de Armas
Lech Walesa, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning former president of Poland, addressed an audience of about 400 people concerning the future of Cuba.
The event took place at the Freedom Tower in downtown on Feb 2.
“The rest of the world needs to see the real Cuba and not the island as a tourist attraction,” Walesa said. “Our generation has the best chance to bring about change in the world and help push for moral governments.”
Walesa is known for helping topple communism in Eastern Europe without using violence.
“He is a great role model because he liberated his country from communism, and then afterward, maintained a pluralistic democratic society in Poland,” said Miami Dade College Provost, Dr. Rolando Montoya. “The people here are interested in liberation but they also want to reconstruct the Cuban nation in a democratic way.”
Before Walesa began his speech he joked that he would “not speak for four hours like Fidel Castro.” To end communism in Cuba, he said, we must analyze the past.
“In previous centuries, no one was giving us a chance to end communism.” Walesa said. “Our generation has the best chance to bring about change in the world, and help push for moral governments.”
For international relations major Klara Markus, Walesa’s lecture brought new thoughts and ideas.
“Anyone can correct an injustice, everyone has power,” Markus, 20, said. “Walesa’s presentation enhanced my beliefs, and made me more assertive that I can make a difference.”
The luncheon was sponsored by the Cuban American National Foundation, and Walesa was presented the key to the city by Tomas Regalado, city of Miami mayor, and the key to the county by Miami-Dade county commissioner Rebeca Sosa.
Omar Lopez Montenegro, executive director of the Foundation of Human Rights in Cuba, also spoke at the luncheon. He also foresees a positive future for Cuba, but advises that change will not happen on its own.
“Change is never produced by itself, it is produced by the people who need it the most,” Montenegro said.
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