The United States is concerned about the recent increase in arbitrary detentions, physical violence and other abusive actions against human and civil rights activists.
The freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly are internationally recognized human rights reflected in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The United States is concerned about the recent increase in arbitrary detentions, physical violence and other abusive actions carried out by the Cuban government against peaceful human rights and civil rights advocates.
In January, during the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States summit in Havana, Cuban authorities detained scores of activists, including Manuel Cuesta Morua, for five days on charges of disseminating false news about conditions in the island nation. He was released from custody, but must report to police weekly and cannot travel abroad.
On February 5, police detained and briefly held Jorge Luiz Garcia Perez, a political activist also known as “Antunez,” and his wife, Yris Perez Aguilera. Authorities reportedly confiscated the couples’ computers, data storage devices and a television set, and painted over a political slogan that Garcia Perez had displayed on the front of his home. They again detained him and his wife for several hours February 11, after Antunez started a hunger fast to protest the arbitrary detention. On February 9, more than 100 members of the Cuban Patriotic Union were arrested on a march to a rally at the cathedral in Santiago de Cuba.
We condemn the Cuban government’s continued harassment and repeated use of arbitrary detention, at times with violence, to stifle dissent, disrupt peaceful assembly and intimidate independent civil society.
We continue to urge the government of Cuba to end its practice of arbitrary detentions and allow its citizens to express their opinions freely and to assemble peacefully.