Diaz-Canel Speaks Like ‘Karadzic, the Butcher of Bosnia,’ Says the Council for the Transition in Cuba

Miguel Díaz-Canel in San Antonio de los Baños, the place where the protests began, on July 11. (EFE)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 15 July 2021 — The Council for the Democratic Transition in Cuba (CTDC) denounces that the government’s reaction to the participants of the July 11 protests «has followed the Yugoslav model» with a «call from the State for a potential massacre,» says the new opposition alliance in a statement published this Thursday.

The regime has exercised «harsh repression against unarmed citizens, illegal rearmament of paramilitary mobs, and night raids to arrest protesters, mostly young people,» details the text that lists the first statements of Miguel Díaz-Canel after the demonstrations as comparable «for their content and gravity» to those of Radovan Karadzic, «the butcher of Bosnia.»

The CTDC laments that the president’s words — warning «the combat order is given» and saying the government is «ready for anything» — have not been criticized by the highest levels of the United Nations and its Human Rights Council. A silence that reveals «the weaknesses of a global organization that does not quite understand that the only guarantee of peace between states lies in peace within states.»

The CTDC believes that July 11 was «a protest of freedom, not a protest of hunger, as in the latter case many establishments throughout the country would not have remained intact.»

The text emphasizes that «nothing is more important» in Cuban than the need for «free, pluralistic, democratic and fair elections.» And that «electing capable men and women, with a vision of the State, has never had more relevance» in Cuba.

The Council also notes that among the more than 5,000 detained during the protests are José Daniel Ferrer, leader of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (Unpacu) and president of the CTDC, as well as his son José Daniel Ferrer Cantillo and government opponents Guillermo Fariñas and Félix Navarro Rodríguez. In addition, they mention the imprisonment of reporters Camila Acosta and Henry Constantín.

«With these arrests they intend to protect themselves with charges for the alleged crimes of public disorder, which fulfills the political purpose of twisting the surprising peaceful, civil and political nature of the demonstrations in more than 50 cities and towns in Cuba,» says the statement.

The Council called for the «immediate release» of all those imprisoned and announced the creation of a support network for their families «in order to seek legal advice and national and international visibility.»

«Families and citizens who want to publicize cases and seek legal protection can contact the Council through: consejotransicion11j@gmail.com or WhatsApp + 5354485695 / +34639338982″, details the text, while requesting international solidarity with the protesters of July 11.

For its part, on Thursday the Inter-American Press Association (IAPA) demanded  the immediate release of Constantín, the designer Neife Rigau and the photographer Iris Mariño of La Hora de Cuba, who have been detained since Sunday in the police unit known as Segunda Station, in Camagüey.

With regards to Rigau and Mariño, the IAPA learned from sources close to the police that they could be «released in the next few hours under house arrest for an indefinite period.»

However, with regards to Constantín, who is the vice president of the IAPA on the island and the director of La Hora de Cuba, it transpired that «charges will be brought against him and a trial will be opened.» On the same Sunday, the police raided the journalist’s home and seized cell phones, a computer and money.

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