Despite many attemps by the Cuban secret Police and Army to disrupt proceedings the will of the people meant it went ahead, it was a a first for dissident groups as previous attempts to bring together several hundred diverse opposition organizations -- all of them outlawed by the government have been stopped by brutal means.
Assembly organizer and former political prisoner Marta Beatriz Roque, said more than 350 dissident organizations were represented at the meeting which called for a democratic transition plan for Cuba.
"It's a point of departure and a historic move," said Roque, who said she has invited international observers such as the former presidents of the Soviet Union and Poland -- Mikhail Gorbachev and Lech Walesa -- to attend.
But signaling its unwillingness to tolerate overseas observers, Cuban immigration authorities turned back two Polish European Union deputies who tried to enter the country Tuesday to witness the assembly.
Cuba's communist government accused assembly organizers of being "mercenaries in the pay of the USA," a charge they withdrew when it became clear the US had provided no funding to the group, rather costs were covered by local Cuban people themselves.
"We have funded the assembly with donations from our brothers and sisters in the exile community. None of the $25,000 we have received comes from the U.S. government," said dissident Rene Gomez Manzano.
We may well be seeing the begining of the end of the repression of the Cuban people as grass routes opposition has now found its voice.