The following statement should be attributed to the Chair of the Florida Democratic Party, Manny Diaz:
“A year ago today, the people of Cuba said enough and took to the streets armed with their desire and cry for freedom in peaceful protests against the communist regime. Any hope for change was quickly met with even greater repression by a tyranny holding on to a failed and cruel economic and political model. Instead, the Cuban regime once again refused to listen to its people, shattered the cry for freedom, the cry for Patria y Vida, not death. The regime beat and arrested the peaceful protestors, called on Cubans to violently confront the protestors, and killed and incarcerated hundreds of the protesters. Kids as young as 13 were imprisoned, tortured, and deprived of their human rights, some of them sentenced from 5 to 15 years for participating in the peaceful protests.
“The regime imprisoned Jose Daniel Ferrer, leader of the largest opposition organization on the island, just for trying to participate in the protests, and he remains in prison to this day. They sentenced two independent Cuban artists, Luis Manuel Otero Alcantara, leader of the Movimiento San Isidro, and protest rapper Maikel “El Osorbo” to five and nine years in prison, respectively.
“The regime changed the penal code to criminalize and make clear that no freedom of speech or any criticism against the government will be tolerated and met with even harsher penalties. The regime continues to deny entry to the island by prominent political activists. The Castro-Canel cruel dictatorship continues to silence the voice of its people in the most cowardly way, murdering and imprisoning those who have the courage to speak out.
“As Democrats, we must continue to stand with the oppressed people of Cuba in their quest for freedom. We must continue to denounce the Cuban regime’s human rights abuses against its people, and we must remain committed to empowering the people of Cuba so they can enjoy the freedoms every human being deserves.”