Alongside twenty other countries, the United States asked Cuban leaders to “respect the universal rights and freedoms of the Cuban people, including the free flow of information to all Cubans.”
What We Know:
- The countries which signed this joint statement include Austria, Brazil, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Estonia, Guatemala, Greece, Honduras, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Republic of Korea, and Ukraine. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and other foreign ministers condemned Cuba’s mass arrests and asked island leaders to restore internet access.
- In the document, foreign leaders declared that Cubans exercised “universal freedoms of expression and assembly.” In addition, they stated the islanders could do so, as written in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. They also called for the regime to release those arrested so far.
“The international community will not waver in its support of the Cuban people and all those who stand up for the basic freedoms all people deserve,” the document reads.
- On July 11, Cubans across the island began demonstrations to call for the end of the 62-year communist regime. Instead of listening to citizens’ cries for help, Cuba President Miguel Díaz-Canel urged government supporters, the military, and police to stop the protesters with violence; it has resulted in the disappearances and deaths of hundreds of Cubans, and also the unjust trials of many. To ensure other countries did not intervene, he also restricted the internet from its people and forced citizens to participate in a rally to support communism.
- Since protests began in Cuba, exiles in the United States have urged U.S. President Joe Biden to act on behalf of the demonstrators. After some push from Cuban-Americans and politicians alike, Biden decided he would use the Global Magnitsky Act to sanction Cuban military head Alvaro Lopez Miera and the Black Wasps for human rights violations. Doing so would freeze their assets and block them from entering the United States. Pres. Biden is also continuing to find ways to restore web access on the island.
Sec. Blinken additionally wrote in the statement that the U.S. will continue aiding Cuba in its fight for independence. “This joint statement demonstrates that the Cuban people are not alone in their aspirations,” stated Blinken.