EFE / 14ymedio, Washington, July 26, 2021 — The governments of 21 countries, including the United States and five Latin American nations, condemned on Monday the “mass arrests and detentions” of protesters in Cuba and demanded respect for human rights on the island.
The declaration was signed by the foreign ministers of Austria, Brazil, Colombia, South Korea, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Ecuador, the United States, Estonia, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland and Ukraine.
The statement recounts that on July 11, “tens of thousands of Cuban citizens participated in demonstrations throughout the country in protest against the deterioration of living conditions and to demand changes,” and denounces that in the face of these marches “the Government responded with violence.”
The ministers of the countries named above also stressed that the protesters “exercised the fundamental freedoms of expression and assembly enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the American Convention on Human Rights, the Inter-American Democratic Charter, and the European Convention on Human Rights.”
That is why they exhorted the Government of Cuba to respect “the rights and freedoms of the Cuban people, guaranteed by law, without fear of arrest or detention.”
“We urge the Cuban government to release those detained for exercising their rights to peaceful protest,” the statement added. “We ask for freedom of the press and the full restoration of internet access.”
The largest protests in more than six decades occurred with the country mired in a serious economic and health crisis, with the pandemic out of control, and severe shortages of food, medicine, and other basic products, in addition to long power outages, which drove Cubans to take to the streets to criticize their government.
Cuban authorities insist on blaming the United States for both the demonstrations and the extreme shortages that the country suffers.
Translated by Tomás A.
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