Cuba Archive Demands Justice and Freedom for Prisoners on the 63rd Anniversary of the Revolution

A young man is arrested by police and State Security agents during the July 11th protests in Havana. (Capture)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 2 January 2022 –This Saturday, the organization Archivo Cuba (Cuba Archive) launched a petition on in solidarity with the Island, in which they demand justice for the July 11th prisoners and freedom for the Cuban people.

The initiative was published, intentionally, on the first of January, the sixty-third anniversary of the Revolution, “the regime which has unleashed fierce injustice, repression, misery, and desperation upon the Cuban people,” said the Miami-based NGO in a statement shared Saturday.

In it, they request “three minutes”, the time it takes to read and sign the petition on, “for 63 years of dictatorship.” They celebrated that another initiative on the same platform, one which advocated for reducing the sentence of Cuban truck driver Rogel Aguilera, sentenced to 110 years in prison in the United States for an accident in which four people died, had resonated and that finally, Colorado’s governor, Jarid Polis, reduced the young man’s sentence to 10 years. “Evidently people sympathize with victims of injustice,” offered the organization led by María Werlau.

The petition states that faced with “the largest public anti-government demonstrations in the last half-century” in Cuba, on July 11th, with thousands of citizens spontaneously demanding freedom and improved living conditions, the Cuban State responded with “fierce repression: arbitrary arrests, trials without due process, layoffs from work, forced exile, and all sorts of persecution and threats.”

At the same time, they considered the work of the Work Group for J11 Justice, which reported “at least” 1,334 detentions on that day, including 45 minors between 14 and 17 years of age, and 708 people remain incarcerated. “Around 200 have been sentenced to long years of prison, many for up to 20 to 30 years, and hundreds more face similarly absurd punishment,” states the petition.

“Cuban laws discriminate politically in open violation of fundamental rights and thousands more Cubans are incarcerated for alleged common crimes or crimes against State Security and for ’pre-criminal social dangerousness’* [sic] with the purpose of maintaining social-political control,” denounced Archivo Cuba, which exclaimed, “It’s time for this to end!”

As a result, from the Cuban Government they demand, to begin with, the unconditional release of all political prisoners and the dismissal “of all judicial and investigative processes for political reasons.” In addition, they request information on those in custody, “for public demonstration, pre-criminal social dangerousness, and other political causes, as well as access to the public records of tribunals and detention facilities.”

They also request that the United Nations Special Rappoteur on Torture and international human rights organizations have access, for inspection, to detention centers on the Island, selected “without prior notice.”

Lastly, they demand the “dismantling of the repressive apparatus,” the “repeal of all laws and regulations penalizing the free exercise of civil and political rights,” and the “urgent start of a transition process toward a multi-party democracy that guarantees the free exercise of the people’s sovereignty under the rule of law.”

They also ask governments around the world to impose on the Island an embargo on the sale of arms and “equipment used to repress,” as well as sanctions on Cuban officials “including prosecutors and judges,” who lend themselves to repression, and that they cease any actions “that legitimize, fund and support the dictatorship.”

Finally, they request the international community send humanitarian assistance to Cuba “without intermediation of the government until it becomes a legitimate representative of the people,” and they conclude the petition with the motto of the protests, taken from the song with the same name: “Patria y Vida“.

*Translator’s note: ’Pre-criminal social dangerousness’ is the ’crime’ of being someone who may commit a crime in the future.

Translated by: Silvia Suárez


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