Wednesday, April 29, 2009

1956: Civic Dialog (Diálogo Cívico) Talks

Cuba History Timeline Events
March 1, 1956
SAR (Sociedad de Amigos de la República) and Batista government representatives begin a series of meetings, ostensibly to negotiate a political compromise. The talks were called the Diálogo Cívico [Civic Dialogue]. SAR publicly professed it sought a peaceful resolution through political compromise. However, this is belied by their exclusion of Carlos Márquez-Sterling from the discussions. SAR secretly informed the government that if they invited Márquez-Sterling to the sessions SAR would withdraw from participation. Márquez-Sterling accepted the exclusion not wishing to be the cause of a breakdown in the talks. While SAR kept insisting on formulas already rejected by the government, Márquez-Sterling was ready to propose viable alternative solutions that would engage government and opposition in negotiating a political compromise.

It appears, as some impartial observers have pointed out, that SAR’s de facto goal was to make the Batista regime seem as intolerant and inflexible as possible, refusing any compromise with the regime, and ignoring its proposals it as if the coup had never occurred. At any rate, the talks ended in acrimonious tirades from both sides.

On March 11, in a speech broadcast over radio and television, Batista publicly responded to Diálogo Cívico demands, dismissing them out of hand as absurd and flatly declaring no elections would be held before June 1958. On March 12, SAR ended the talks.

based on Manuel Márquez-Sterling's Cuba 1952-1959 and
Cuba 1952-1959 Interactive Timeline

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