Cuba Decide promoters solicit international support for hunger strikers, yields success in dispersing police barricade

Nonviolent efforts achieve end to police barricade
9 April, 2021
OAS Says Cuba Responsible for Health of Hunger Strikers
14 April, 2021

In the wake of the UNPACU hunger strike, Cuba Decide urged all governments and democratic institutions in the Americas and Europe to take action to stop the impunity of the Cuban regime and demand an end to political repression.

The obstruction of humanitarian work by members of civil society is one of the repressive tactics systematically applied by the regime in Cuba that were publicly denounced by the Foundation for Pan-American Democracy (FDP) during the 179th Session of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). This constitutes one more state policy to exercise total control and that has tragic consequences in the midst of the health crisis.

In a press conference on March 26, Cuba Decide requested international support and denounced the situation of the strikers, the vast majority of which are members of the Patriotic Union of Cuba and promoters of Cuba Decide who were then on hunger strike on the Island, demanding an end to the repression that prevents the humanitarian efforts of UNPACU activists.

The participants warned about the serious danger the strikers face, as they continue to be harassed and surrounded by the police. They also requested action from the international community to stop the regime’s impunity and constant repression. With his denunciation of “State terrorism that the dictatorship of Havana applies against its citizens”, Luis Almagro, joins in the accusations that several promoters of Cuba Decide made before the IACHR in response to the repressive patterns implemented by the regime on the Island.

At the conference, Rosa Maria Payá stated that “Raul Castro and Miguel Diaz Canel, virtually in command of the Cuban State, are responsible for state terrorism that is inflicted upon citizens in Cuba and are also responsible for the physical integrity of each of the strikers. We ask the governments and democratic institutions of the Americas and Europe to act.”

After successfully garnering international support, the police barricade was finally dispersed on the morning of April 9. On this day marked the victory of solidarity over repression; the non-violent mobilization of Cubans on the island and in the diaspora, coupled with international solidarity, forced the apparent withdrawal of repressive forces. Cuban dictators have shown that they disrespect the lives of citizens and that they shamelessly lie in their international dialogues. But today it was also shown that the Cuban dictatorship reacts to pressure. We are very concerned about the health of all the strikers, who are the true heroes and are still in danger. The repression on the island continues, but we must continue to push forward,” noted Rosa María Payá.

The path forward — international actions of solidarity in conjunction with the mobilization of Cubans seeking a change of the system. We are deeply grateful to all Cubans who have taken action; to the Catholic and Protestant churches that stood in solidarity; to all opposition organizations on the island and in exile; and more than 75 human rights organizations and members of the media in the world, who kept in touch and demonstrated their solidarity. Thank you for the urgent proclamations of support from the OAS Secretary General, the European Parliament, the United States Department of State, doctors in the diaspora, and government officials from Latin America, the United States, and Europe. We encourage everyone to continue mobilizing. The state terrorism exercised by the Cuban regime will not end until we achieve the end of the Communist dictatorship and the transition towards democracy begins,” concluded Payá, from the Cuba Decide initiative.