In response to the increasingly frequent limits on peaceful protest and human rights violations committed by the Cuban government, including the unjust detention of artist Hamlet Lavastida, Florida Democratic Party Chair Manny Diaz released the following statement.
“In recent months, Cuba’s communist government has taken increasingly alarming steps to limit free speech and human rights. The most recent evidence of this is the unjust detention of artist Hamlet Lavastida, who is among a long list of political critics and artists, including members of the San Isidro Movement, who have been arrested and detained for expressing their beliefs, such as calling for the right to protest and freedom of artistic expression. As proud Americans who enjoy these rights and freedoms, we must speak out against authoritarianism and anti-democratic tactics, and stand up for the right of artistic expression and free speech, both here at home and around the hemisphere.
“As our Founding Fathers intimately understood, freedom of expression is an inherent human right that should not be curtailed by any government or public institution anywhere in the world. Everyone should have the right to freely express their opinions and beliefs about political ideas and the future of their people. We cannot let injustices such as this go unacknowledged in Cuba or elsewhere, as it is our sacred duty to stand up for freedom.”