This July, the world watched as Cubans bravely took to the streets in historic protests, asserting their rights to freedom of expression and freedom of peaceful assembly. In advance of peaceful demonstrations planned for today, the Cuban regime predictably deployed a set piece of harsh prison sentences, sporadic arrests, intimidation tactics, and acts of repudiation all in an attempt to silence the voice of Cuban people as they clamor for change, demand an end to political violence, and implore the regime to liberate the hundreds of peaceful protestors detained after July 11 just for wanting a greater say in the future of their country.
By its actions, the Cuban regime failed to respect the civil and political rights enumerated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international human rights treaties ratified by Cuba, including the right to peaceful assembly and association, the right to freedom of opinion and expression, and freedom from arbitrary arrest, detention, or exile. There is no denying the regime’s brutal crackdown in response to July 11, which were broadcast in real time for the world to see.
The United States is committed to supporting the agency of the Cuban people as they seek to promote democratic change as an inclusive and broad-based social movement. We urge the Cuban regime to refrain from violence against peaceful protestors and to immediately release all those unjustly detained, and we call on the international community to voice their support for the Cuban people.
The Cuban regime should take this opportunity to listen to their people: to hear their frustrations and look for ways to work together to better serve the needs and ambitions of all Cubans. The United States will not waver in its support of Cubans’ pursuit of fundamental freedoms and a democratic and prosperous society.