July 19, 2021
Mr. President and Members of Congress,
We write to you on behalf of the Cuban exile community from all around the world, but especially, the Cuban exiles in the United States. Our community consists of members ranging from those who have recently migrated from Cuba to those who sought refuge in the United States in the peak of Cuba’s communist regime initiated by Fidel Castro’s revolution in 1959. The request that we make below also includes the proposals of most of the opposition and Cuban civil society in and out the island as expressed on the Pasos de Cambio platform.
As you may already know, this July 11th of 2021, the illegitimate president of Cuba, Miguel Diaz-Canel, gave a combat order to physically attack every Cuban who was peacefully demanding freedom and political change on the streets. Specifically, the dictator ordered:
“We are calling on all of the revolutionaries in the country, all the communists, to take to the streets and go to the places where these provocations will take place… The order of combat is given: to the streets revolutionaries!”
This, of course, has already caused the deaths and disappearances of those who peacefully demanded freedom along with basic human rights in the streets of Cuba. Even though the Cuban dictatorship bans independent media, we have received innumerable videos, pictures, testimonials, and written statements from inside the island informing and showing us that the military is shooting, torturing, hitting, killing, and even kidnapping those who marched, unarmed, on the streets of almost every Cuban city this past July 11th of 2021 shouting “LIBERTAD!”.
The Cuban Dictatorship has always suppressed dissent and any type of opposition to the political system in place by criminalizing it and penalizing it. They repress and punish both dissent and public criticism. Critics also face beatings, detentions, public shaming, refusal of medical treatment, travel restrictions, fines, online harassment, termination of studies/employment, unlawful search and seizures, and even unlawful surveillance. The Cuban dictatorship has only recognized a single political party and has denied its citizens the right to vote for over 62 years. However, since July 11th of 2021, the Cuban Dictatorship took its stance against political change of the island to a whole different level. We have seen children killed, beaten, and snatched from their homes. We have seen the elderly deprived from imminent medical attention because a family member has participated in the call for change of July 11th. We have seen threatening emails to Cubans warning them that if they don’t oppose to the courageous people chanting freedom and demanding political and social change, they will be negated their already earned wages. And we have also gathered a list of hundreds of missing individuals that were last seen arrested during the call for freedom that took place on the streets on July 11th of 2021.
Accordingly, our demand is simple: WE NEED YOU TO HELP US FREE CUBA. As Secretary of State Blinken has said, there are no better ambassadors for freedom than the Cuban Americans, so to that end, we request you do the following:
- Immediately demand that the illegitimate president of Cuba, Miguel Diaz-Canel as well as the communist government, step down from the presidency and relinquish their power to the people so that the next president and representatives be elected by the Cuban people.
- Refuse to negotiate with the Cuban dictatorship and instead lead a humanitarian intervention for the freedom and safety of the Cuban civilians.
- Provide a communication outlet for the Cuban people inside the island allowing them access to the internet after it has been revoked by the dictatorship which is also keeping them without electricity to suppress and silence them.
- Demand the immediate unconditional release of ALL political prisoners being held without just cause and fair trial.
- Allow the Cuban people to have basic human rights such as: freedom of speech, freedom of opinion and expression, freedom of assembly, and freedom of association without fear of government prosecution.
- Sanction Cuba’s government leaders pursuant to the Global Magnitsky Act for violation of human rights and ban them from entering the United States and freeze their assets.
- Demand all companies doing business with Cuba to abide by the Global Sullivan Principles which align companies of all sizes to work together toward the common goals of human rights, social justice and economic opportunity.
- Immediately freeze the Cuban government’s sources of funding effectively forbidding the Cuban military and government from retaining the remittances sent to the people.
The Castro dictatorship is a self-benefiting, cruel, inhumane, and murderous form of government. The regime is an anti-American outpost in our hemisphere that has destabilized the entire continent. The United States must save the Cuban people to protect freedom and democracy in the entire hemisphere. The regime’s communist propaganda has perfected the art of lying to the Cuban people and the international community. We are here to debunk these lies and debunk the lobbyists who represent the dictators in Washington.
Mr. President, it is time to end what the Cuban communist government stands for now! Venezuela’s social and economic crisis is a clear example of what Castro regime’s interventionism leads to. Nicaragua, Colombia, and Chile are also victims of Cuba’s interventionism and the crises in these nations could be exacerbated even further. To end citing with another recent example of oppression buy the Cuban dictatorship, I’ll tell you about how back in 2020, more than 45 tons of food and medicine were collected by the Cuban American community in Miami. Those donations were then sent to the island through Christian churches. The dictatorship held these donations hostage, proceeded to steal the donations, and then shamelessly sold these donations, in US dollars, to the people. How much more will Cubans have to endure to deserve freedom?
As American citizens, we implore you to represent our interests and ask you to work with us to achieve freedom for the Cuban people.
The Cuban people need saving and for that we need your help. We demand answers and actions.