14ymedio, Madrid, 31 October 2018 — Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez will defend human rights in his visit to Havana, as the Moncloa Palace has expressed in its response to a letter addressed to him by the activist Iliana Hernández. The Cabinet of the Presidency did not offer more details on what specific gestures Sanchez will make when he is in Havana on November 22 and 23.
“We acknowledge receipt of the letter sent to the President* of the Government, in which you have sent your comments and reflections on his next official trip to Cuba, which we have read with interest, as we have done with other personalities, such as [the former president of USA] Barack Obama and Pope Francis, and there is not the slightest doubt that the President will defend human rights on his visit to the island,” the text says.
Iliana Hernandez wrote a letter addressed to Sanchez this month in which she criticized his trip to Cuba and explained her personal situation. Hernandez said she has not been able to leave Cuba for eight months, not even to travel to Spain, where she also lives.
The activist added, after detailing some of the penalties to which opponents are exposed, that she has gone to seek help at the Spanish embassy and the answer has been that they do not have legal mechanisms to act, since Cuba does not recognize her dual citizenship.
Hernández condemned that Sanchez accepted a meeting with Miguel Díaz-Canel at the UN. “Is it that you do not accept that there is a dictatorship in Cuba? Do you not know that in Cuba the most elementary universal rights that belong to us as citizens and are protected by the UN Magna Carta are violated, or have you simply decided to ignore it?”
For all these reasons, the activist asked Sanchez to decline to visit to the island. “Out of respect for Spain and Cuba, and for the most elementary rights that are being fought for in the civilized world today.”
Moncloa thanked her in its response for the “contributions that allow the Chief Executive to know first-hand the needs and opinions of citizens.”
The activist, who published the letter and the response on her Facebook profile, has been satisfied with the response and has expressed her desire to recognize the reality.
*Translator’s note: The Spanish “Prime Minister” is also the “President of the Government”
The 14ymedio team is committed to serious journalism that reflects the reality of deep Cuba. Thank you for joining us on this long road. We invite you to continue supporting us, but this time by becoming a member of 14ymedio. Together we can continue to transform journalism in Cuba.