Thanks to all who joined us for our presentation at Cary Memorial Library, Lexington, MA, November 29, 2022, on human rights in Cuba. Fellow Cuban Americans and Lexingtonians Manuel Navia and Tom Díaz joined me for this forum. We had approximately 25 people in the audience and 50 via Zoom.
Cuban human rights activist Anamely Ramos González dialed into the program under difficult circumstances. Anamely gave us a frontline view of the violations taking place and the courage of the Cubans working to reclaim their basic rights.
Manuel, Tom, and I are grateful to CML for inviting us to talk about Cuba and to Andy Flaster for moderating the program. We hope our talk reaches beyond our town and inspires people to do what they can to free Cuban political prisoners and secure Cubans’ universal human rights.
Due to copyright restrictions the library could not include the videos from the presentation in its recording (will add YouTube link when available).
Links to the three videos shown during the presentation appear at end of this document.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
The most important step you can take to help Cuban political prisoners and their families is to call or write to your senators, congressional representatives, and the White House (contact info below).
Ask them to make public statements supporting the more than 1000 known political prisoners being prosecuted, under house arrest, in work or re-education camps, or already serving sentences of up to 25 years.
Ask them to pressure the Cuban government to:
- Release all political prisoners
- Cease violating Cubans’ basic human rights
- Honor the U.N.’s Nelson Mandela Rules of standard minimum treatment of prisoners
- Join the other countries in our hemisphere that allow independent monitoring of their prisons.
Ask President Biden to:
- lead a coordinated response with other democratic countries
- find ways to support internet access during protests when regime shuts it down.
1. Senator Ed Markey
Boston Office: 617-565-8519
2. Senator Elizabeth Warren
Boston Office: (617) 565-3170
3. White House
Comment Line: 202-456-1111
4. Contact your congressional representative:
Other ways you can help:
- Attend events in support for universal human rights in Cuba.
- Demand more + fair media coverage that doesn’t perpetuate regime’s excuses, e.g., hardships are all a result of embargo, protestors are delinquents/paid mercenaries of CIA.
- Question/reject theory that some human rights are more important than others, e.g., that the right to food and shelter comes before the right to free speech, association.
- Question/reject excuses that regime’s human rights violations are a result of U.S. Cuba Policy.
- Ask your organization to endorse/create initiatives supporting universal human rights in Cuba.
- Sign up with Amnesty International for Cuban prisoners of conscience letter writing.
- Sign petitions like Justicia 11J’s, SOLIDARITY WITH CUBA: Justice for peaceful protesters and freedom for the people.
- Spread word, follow story.
- A few good English sources
- Twitter handles: @ngameztorres; @cubacenter; @ngotranslations
- A few good English sources
- United Nations Declaration of Human Rights – https://www.un.org/en/about-us/universal-declaration-of-human-rights
- Freedom House – https://freedomhouse.org/country/cuba/freedom-world/2022
- Human Rights Watch – https://www.hrw.org/americas/cuba
- Amnesty International – https://www.amnesty.org/en/location/americas/central-america-and-the-caribbean/cuba/report-cuba/
- Cuba: An American History by Ada Ferrer (winner 2022 Pulitzer Prize in History)
- The Cubans: Ordinary Lives in Extraordinary Times by Anthony DePalma
- Che Guevara’s Forgotten Victims, 2nd Edition by Maria C. Werlau
Donate to groups like:
- CubaLex—U.S.-based legal aid group helping Cubans on the island who’ve been imprisoned.
- 14yMedio—one the few remaining independent journalist groups in Cuba.
- Prisoners Defenders—Madrid-based human rights group focusing on Cuban political prisoners.
- Justicia 11J (Justice 11J)—women in + outside of Cuba maintaining databases on Cubans detained, disappeared, jailed, kept under house arrest, or in re-education/work camps for peaceful political activism. Also maintain database of repressors in police, military, government, or judicial posts.
- Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch (mention CUBAN violations)
- Cuba Decide. International group supporting the development and protection of true civil society in Cuba.
- of Caritas Cubana – Cambridge, MA, charity supporting humanitarian and social services of the Catholic Church in Cuba.
Links to News Videos Shown Tonight:
https://youtu.be/VntJWYIhzak . Freedom House video on 11J. Spanish with English subtitles.