Lech Walesa says change will come to Cuba

Former Polish President and Nobel Peace Laureate Lech Walesa, a key player in helping bringing down communism in Eastern Europe, said Tuesday that there will soon be a political change in Cuba.

"It's going to happen," Walesa said, speaking through an interpreter. "But the world must be ready for the changes that will bring about," he cautioned.

Walesa, the guest speaker at a Tuesday $100-a-plate luncheon of the Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba at the Freedom Tower, said the rest of the world needs to see the real Cuba — and not the island as "a tourist attraction."

A union organizer and founder of the Solidarity Movement, Walesa led a nonviolent revolt against Poland's communist system in the 1980s. He has been working with the Cuban American National Foundation on how lessons from his movement can best be applied to support the work of civil society groups in Cuba.

"What aspects of his movement can be applied to our struggles in Cuba?" asked Omar Lopez Montenegro, executive director of the foundation for human rights.

Francisco "Pepe" Hernandez, president of the Cuban American National Foundation, who attended the luncheon, said, "There are many Lech Walesas" inside Cuba.

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