Days ahead of planned nationwide protests in Cuba scheduled for Monday, November 15, reports from inside the island make clear that the country’s dictatorial regime has stepped up its efforts to repress dissent and intimidate individuals and opposition groups from participating in these peaceful civic events.
In reaction to these reports, Florida Democratic Party Chair Manny Diaz issued the following statement:
“The right to peacefully assemble to petition your government for change is a human right that must not be denied to anyone, anywhere in the world. Sadly, as has been true for over six decades, the dictatorial Cuban regime is showing once again that there is no right it will not trample to remain in power unchallenged and unquestioned.
“The Cuban people must be allowed to express their desires and aspirations for change. The protests planned for November 15 would be viewed by any legitimate government as an opportunity to listen to the grievances of the population and change its policies to address them.
“Unfortunately, the illegitimate communist regime that has impoverished and brutalized the Cuban people for decades is not equipped to listen and change. It understands that, if it were to actually heed the demands of its citizens, it would have to abandon power immediately and give way to a democratic process that would surely dismantle the sad, destructive and violent legacy of over sixty years of Castrism.
“The regime’s pathetic and mendacious attempts to blame the United States and the economic embargo for the suffering of the Cuban people simply do not stand up to scrutiny. Make no mistake about it, the people are taking to the streets asking for “libertad” (freedom) because they know that it’s the repressive and failed societal model brutally imposed by this communist regime that is directly responsible for their woes.
“I urge the Government of the United States to use every diplomatic and economic tool at its disposal to support the human rights of the Cuban people. The citizens of the island have been under attack from their own government for far too long, and we must do everything we can to stand by them as they prepare to exercise their right to free expression and peaceful assembly.”