The Senate Foreign Relations Committee unanimously approved a resolution supporting anti-regime protesters in Cuba.
Cuba is witnessing unprecedented and widespread protests against the island’s communist dictatorship, which has since cracked down harshly on dissidents. Hundreds of Cubans are unsure of their loved ones’ whereabouts, while officers reportedly sexually assaulted at least one detained teenager.
According to a press release from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the resolution condemns “the Cuban government’s violent response to the thousands of Cuban citizens who have taken to the streets to peacefully call for respect for basic human rights and the end of the dictatorship in Cuba.”
“As the oppressive Communist Cuban regime continues to hold the people of Cuba hostage after 62 years of repression and constant abuses, I welcome the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations’ passage of this important bipartisan resolution,” remarked Sen. Rubio (R-FL). “The U.S. must stand with the courageous people of Cuba as they fight for their basic freedoms and against tyranny.”
“This month, we saw decades of deep Cuban frustration over inept, corrupt, and cruel governance boil over,” added Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL). “While I have long argued for a change in the failed U.S. policy toward Cuba, the Cuban people know the real source of their island’s lost potential rests squarely with the ruling dictatorship.”
The resolution reads in part:
Whereas the nationwide protests represent the full diversity of Cuban society, with demonstrators proudly proclaiming ‘‘Patria y Vida!’’ (Homeland and Life!) and calling for ‘‘libertad’’ (liberty);
Whereas despite the authoritarian regime’s blocking of internet service to prevent the spread of information about the demonstrations, Cubans witnessed examples of their compatriots demanding change in their country and courageously joined the growing protests;
Whereas despite the peaceful nature of the demonstrations, Miguel Diaz-Canel incited violence among Cubans and encouraged his supporters to attack peaceful protestors, declaring in a televised address, ‘‘the order to fight has been given — into the streets’’ and pledged his supporters’ lives: ‘‘Over our dead bodies. We are prepared to do anything’’;
Whereas for years the Cuban regime has exported its authoritarian methods to Venezuela, sending intelligence personnel to assist Venezuelan security forces as they repressed similar peaceful protests calling for democratic change;
Now, therefore, be it resolved that the Senate: expresses its strong solidarity with the people of Cuba in their desire to live in a free and democratic country with uncensored access to information, justice, and economic prosperity.
The resolution will next move to the Senate floor for approval.