14ymedio, Havana, July 25, 2021 — This Saturday Cuban singer-songwriter Pablo Milanés described as “irresponsible and absurd” the use of repression by the Cuban government against the people, “who have sacrificed and given everything for decades to sustain a regime that in the end imprisons them.”
Milanés’ statement comes in the heat of the 11J (11 July) protests and the wave of repression and violence unleashed by the Government against the protesters. International organizations and civil society, relatives of the detainees and independent media have denounced hundreds of arrests, mainly young people, and also minors have been charged.
“For a long time, I have been speaking about the injustices and errors in the politics and government of my country,” the singer continued, emphasizing that in 1992 he reached “the conviction that the Cuban system had definitely failed” and he denounced it.
“Now I reiterate my pronouncements and I trust the Cuban people to seek the best possible system of coexistence and prosperity, with full freedoms, without repression and without hunger,” added the 78-year-old singer, who made it clear that he will continue to express his opinions as long as his health permits.
“I believe in young people, who with the help of all Cubans, must and will be the engine of change,” he concluded.
Added to the arrests of hundreds of people for participating in the marches are the house arrests of activists, artists, and independent journalists who didn’t even set foot on the streets on Sunday, July 11.
The mass arrests have drawn criticism from the international community, including that of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, who called for the urgent release of the detainees and an investigation.
The protests, in which citizens asked for freedom, took place with the country mired in a serious economic and health crisis, with the pandemic out of control and a severe shortage of food, medicine and other basic products, in addition to long power cuts.
The authorities, for their part, insist on blaming the United States for both the protests and the extreme shortages that the country is suffering.
In addition, this Saturday the Cuban government denied that it is proceeding with summary trials against detainees for the protests, but confirmed that there are minors under investigation who, if convicted, will receive sanctions with “differentiated treatment.”
Almost two weeks after the massive demonstrations, the authorities have not released the official number of those detained or prosecuted, so the only reference is the lists that activist groups and independent organizations are collecting and circulating on social media.
Translated by Tomás A.
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