17 April 2022 ~ 0 Comentarios

Why U.S. demands freedom of the more than a thousand political prisoners

Only oppressors must fear the full exercise of freedoms”

José Martí

By Manuel Castro Rodriguez

Mariela Castro (marielac@infomed.sld.cu), daughter of Cuban dictator Raúl Castroas you know, in Cuba, where not a single free election has been allowed in seventy years, the regime recently sentenced 128 Cubans who participated in peaceful protests last year to prison terms ranging from 4 to 30 years.

Your father tries to silence dissent with a program of mass incarceration. Mariela Castro, the U.S. demands freedom of 128 Cubans that are political prisoners:

The Cuban government has sentenced 128 people to a total of over 1900 years in prison for demonstrating & expressing their views. Artists Maykel Osorbo and @LMOAlcantara are among the 1,000+ political prisoners in Cuba. We demand their immediate release. #PresosPorQue

Mariela Castro, how could any honest person deny that the Cuban revolution has been the greatest scam of the 20th century? For example (in Spanish): 1234567891011, and 12.

Mariela Castro, as you know:

1- Cuban artist Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara, who is main coordinator of the San Isidro Movement and a prisoner of conscience, has been on a hunger strike since January 18 for his unjust imprisonment.

2- Antony J. Blinken, who is US Secretary of State, said on November 27:

It has been one year since nearly 300 artists and activists gathered and demonstrated for freedom of expression at the gates of the Ministry of Culture in Havana. Inspired by the peaceful and unprecedented protests of the San Isidro Movement, the artists called for artistic and personal freedoms in Cuba, and for the Cuban government to take part in a dialogue that would allow the Cuban people to have a voice in determining their own future. The United States stood by the Cuban people in that historic moment and continues to do so today.

Repeatedly since last year’s historic gathering in front of the Ministry of Culture, Cubans have asked their government to hear their calls for fundamental freedoms, democracy, and respect for human rights. On every occasion, the regime squandered the opportunity for dialogue, doubling down on a bankrupt ideology and failed economic system that cannot provide for Cubans’ basic needs. We commend the Cuban people for continuing to call on their government to listen to their aspirations and to demand respect for universal human rights and fundamental freedoms. We urge the Cuban regime to heed their call, and to allow the Cuban people to shape their own future, free from the threat of government reprisal.”

3- On July 11, peaceful demonstrations anti-government took place simultaneously in towns and cities throughout Cuba, chanting “down with the dictatorship” and “we want liberty.” Samuel Farber, who born and raised in Marianao, Cuba, is a long-time socialistAccording to Professor Farber:

The demonstrations of July 11 were the first great autonomous and democratic movement of Black and poor Cubans since 1959… While it is true that the Cuban rap ‘Patria y Vida’ (Life and Fatherland) that inspired many July 11 marchers is not clear about the alternatives it proposed to the social and political system that rules the island, it cannot be said, as some have pretended, that its political content is right-wing.”

4- On July 16, the socialist Michelle Bachelet, who is the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, called for the prompt release of all those who have been detained for exercising their rights to freedom of peaceful assembly, or freedom of opinion and expression.

I am very concerned at the alleged use of excessive force against demonstrators in Cuba and the arrest of a large number of people, including several journalists,” Bachelet said. “It is particularly worrying that these include individuals allegedly held incommunicado and people whose whereabouts are unknown. All those detained for exercising their rights must be promptly released.”

I deeply regret the death of one protester in the context of protests in Havana – it is important that there be an independent, transparent, effective investigation, and that those responsible are held accountable,” she added.

I urge the Government to address the protesters’ grievances through dialogue, and to respect and fully protect the rights of all individuals to peaceful assembly and to freedom of opinion and expression,” Bachelet said.

5- On August 19, Amnesty International prisoners names of conscience amidst crackdown on protesters:

In response to the protests of 11 July, the Cuban authorities have applied the same machinery of control that they have used to target alternative thinkers for decades, but now amped up to a scale we haven’t seen in almost 20 years, and with new tactics including the use of internet interruptions and online censorship to control and cover up the grave human rights violations they have committed.”

6- The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention of the United Nations Human Rights Council concluded that the arrest and imprisonment of Cubans Denis Solís and Luis Robles qualify as arbitrary detentions. the Working Group ruled that in both cases articles 35891011, and 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights were violated, given that their sentences derived from the “exercise of rights or freedoms” proclaimed in those articles.

7- According to a Human Rights Watch’s research:

Human Rights Watch’s research indicates that the July demonstrations were overwhelmingly peaceful. Many protesters chanted ‘Liberty!’ or ‘Motherland and life,’ referencing a song performed by Cuban artists that repurposes the Cuban government’s old slogan, ‘motherland or death’ (patria o muerte), and criticizes repression in the country. In the 130 cases documented by Human Rights Watch, Cuban authorities accused only a handful of detainees of engaging in violence, most often by throwing rocks during protests. In most of these cases, the detainees or their families denied that they engaged in violence, and in all of them the criminal prosecutions were marred by serious due process violations and the sentences sought or imposed by Cuban authorities against the detainees appear excessive.

In most of the cases Human Rights Watch documented, detainees were held incommunicado for days or even weeks, violently arrested, and, in some cases ill-treated during detention. Some were forced to squat naked, apparently deliberately deprived of sleep, brutally beaten, and held in cells without natural light where they say they lost track of time. Others were threatened with reprisals against them or their families for protesting.

Most detainees suffered abusive and repeated interrogations, at times in the middle of the night, in which they were often questioned about the ‘organization’ and ‘financing’ of demonstrations, and threatened with long prison terms.”

I send a copy to Mexico’s Foreign Affairs Minister Marcelo Ebrard (canciller@sre.gob.mx), because President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s growing love affair with the dictatorships is an insult to democracy. Besides, I ask President López Obrador to give me its opinion on this letter.


Manuel Castro Rodríguez

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