To discover that our new best friend, the Cuban government, is oppressing its citizens
We are deeply concerned about the latest reports of detentions and
arrests by Cuban authorities of peaceful civil society members and
activists, including Luis Quintana Rodriguez, Antonio Rodiles, Danilo
Maldonado, Reinaldo Escobar, Marcelino Abreu Bonora and Eliecer Avila.
We strongly condemn the Cuban government’s continued harassment and
repeated use of arbitrary detention, at times with violence [our bold], to silence
critics, disrupt peaceful assembly and freedom expression, and
Freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly are internationally
recognized human rights, and the Cuban government’s lack of respect for
these rights, as demonstrated by today’s detentions, is inconsistent
with Hemispheric norms and commitments. We urge the Government of Cuba
to end its practice of repressing these and other internationally
protected freedoms and to respect the universal human rights of Cuban
We have always said we would continue to speak out about human rights,
and as part of the process of normalization of diplomatic relations, the
United States will continue to press the Cuban government to uphold its
international obligations and to respect the rights of Cubans to
peacefully assemble and express their ideas and opinions, just like
their fellow members of civil society throughout the Americas are
allowed to do.
Which speaking out will get the State Dept. exactly what it got the Eisenhower Administration in 1959, when they rushed to recognize (within a week of Castro's march into Havana) the revolution of Fidel Castro as the legitimate government of Cuba. Let's hope it doesn't get them what Gerald Ford and Henry Kissinger got when they started discussing normalization of relations in 1974--50,000 Cubans sent to Angola. Or Jimmy Carter (the Mariel Boatlift
when hardened Cuban criminals were outsourced to Florida). Or Bill Clinton ....
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