On June 18, The Assembly of the Cuban Resistance in Representation of the Captive Cuban people, which is convening this week in Miami, bestowed Dr. YANG Jianli, founder and president of Citizen Power Initiatives for China, Order of Merit of Human Solidarity ” in recognition of the life time of dedication to the enlightenment of humanity through science, mathematics and the struggle for human rights of former Chinese political prisoner, leading democracy advocate and co-founder of the Justice Cuba Commission”.
Here is Dr. Yang Jianli’s acceptance speech.
Your Liberty Will Be My Freedom–Acceptance Speech of Order of Merit of Human Solidarity Bestowed by The Assembly of the Cuban Resistance
June 18, 2019, Miami, USA
This is a surprise but a humbling one. Thank you, Mr. Orlando Gutierrez, and The Assembly of the Cuban Resistance, for giving me this Order of Merit of Human Solidarity.
I feel lucky and honored to have a chance of getting involved with human rights and democracy work for Cuba, fighting alongside my Cuban brothers and sisters against the tyranny of the Castro regime and for the liberation of the Cuban people. I have drawn tremendous inspirations from your courage, commitment and sacrifice. Working with you is very rewarding; it reminds me every day that the ties that bind us make it possible for us to act in a way worthy of the best of our humanity.
This year marks the 60th year of the Communist rule in Cuba which has established and maintained an effective machinery of repression. Thanks to your relentless struggle, the Cuban democracy movement has in recent years been establishing “enclaves of civil society” within the totalitarian system. They are gradually eroding Castro’s machinery of repression. The Castro regime is obviously trying to stop this process of erosion and promote deceiving changes to adapt. I think the regime sees a possible model for accomplishing this, that is the China model of introducing economic liberalization while maintaining the Communist system of control. The model has worked for CCP in part because the US and other world democracies allowed it to. The nearly three decades of the US appeasement policy toward China was based on the theory, which was widely upheld by corporations, columnists, pundits and policy makers, that trade would lead to political freedom. This theory does not seem to apply to China, at least up to this point, and I don’t think it will apply to Cuba. Trade alone has not changed China, neither will it change Cuba. Trade must be linked with human rights. The free world policy toward such a communist dictatorship as Cuba must be an integrated one with human rights at its core. This is the lesson we have learned from the past three decades. This is the lesson I want to particularly share with you today.
Thank you again for this great honor. To be honest, I am not so confident that I deserve it. I take it as a spur to redouble my effort to serve the people of Cuba as well as my compatriots back in my home country China.
To conclude, I want to repeat what I said four years ago when I was invited by you to present the 2015 Pedro Luis Boitel Freedom Award: Let’s stand together in solidarity with all the oppressed people around the world and say to one another: Your slavery is my servitude; Your fight is my struggle; and Your liberty will be my freedom.