14ymedio, Havana | 2 Septiembre 2021 — The writer Mario Vargas Llosa on Wednesday added his signature to a petition on Charge.org for the freedom of Cubans, particularly those detained after the massive protests on July 11.
The initiative, published by the writer Enrique del Risco as “SOS Cuba,” is a letter addressed to Miguel Díaz-Canel in which the signers demand that the right of citizens be respected “to demonstrate and choose their destiny, instead of seeking new ways to repress and silence your people.”
“Do not attempt to portray those who protested as mercenaries in the service of the United States,” the letter asks, referring to the 11J (July 11th) demonstrations. “Recognize that in those protests are the voices of people who are fed up with their lack of freedoms, bad government, and hardships of all kinds. Do not deny that those tens of thousands who protested throughout the island are Cuban citizens who no longer identify with the project you are proposing and who dare to say so out loud despite the proven risks involved in doing so.”
The text added: “To demonstrate your respect for the rights of your compatriots, you must begin by releasing the more than half a thousand Cubans who, a month after the protests, are still in prison or are being prosecuted for participating in them. Along with them, you must release all Cubans who are in prison for expressing their disagreement with your government.”
Signed by Cubans within the Island, such as the artist Tania Bruguera, the journalist Yoani Sánchez, the writer Ángel Santiesteban and the artist Julio Llopiz-Casal, the petition is also supported by compatriots abroad, such as the immunologist Eduardo López-Collazo, the musician Paquito D’Rivera or the writers Ernesto Díaz de Villegas, Manuel Díaz Martínez, Legna Rodríguez Iglesias and Carlos Manuel Álvarez.
In addition to the Peruvian Nobel laureate, the petition has also been signed by important international voices , notably the Canadian psychologist Steven Pinker, the Russian chess player Garry Kasparov, the American actor Andy García, the Spanish philosopher Fernando Savater and the Venezuelan writer Alberto Barrera Tyszka.
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