the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Statement by the Press Secretary on the Death of Cuban Activist Wilmar Villar

President Obama’s thoughts and prayers are with the wife, family, and friends of Wilmar Villar, a young and courageous defender of human rights and fundamental freedoms in Cuba who launched a hunger strike to protest his incarceration and succumbed to pneumonia.

Villar’s senseless death highlights the ongoing repression of the Cuban people and the plight faced by brave individuals standing up for the universal rights of all Cubans.  The United States will not waver in our support for the liberty of the Cuban people.  We will remain steadfast in our outreach to the Cuban people through unlimited Cuban American family visits and remittances, purposeful travel, and humanitarian assistance to dissidents and their families in support of their legitimate desire to freely determine Cuba’s future.