The Parliamentarians gathered at the second session of the Transatlantic Forum for a Free Cuba pledged to influence the governments and institutions to which they belong to support the Cuban people in their demand for freedom, interrupt the financing of the repressive machinery, and apply sanctions to those responsible for serious human rights violations.
Washington, D.C. May 12, 2022, legislators from the United States, European Parliament and the congresses of nations from Europe, Latin America, and Canada held the second Transatlantic Forum for a Free Cuba with the participation of eight opposition and civil society organizations from the Island and the exile. The event, organized by the Cuba Decide platform and partner organizations, was held in the United States Congress and included the participation of 15 lawmakers. Representatives of Cuban civil society offered their testimonies to legislators on the human rights violations carried out by the regime against the Cuban people. The opening remarks were given by Ambassador Andrew Bremberg from Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation and Rosa María Payá, founder of the Cuba Decide initiative, who stated that “This is the time for the world to act. I thank you, legislators from both sides of the Atlantic gathered in this FREE CUBA FORUM, for your commitment today of calling on (1) the OAS member states to take action to support democracy in Cuba in the next Summit of the Americas; (2) the European Union to stop financing the Cuban regime; and (3) all your governments and institutions to sanction the repressors of the Cuban people. Especially now that the Cuban dictatorship has decided to support the Russian regime and to generate the second largest migration crisis in the history of communism in Cuba.”
Dita Charanzova, Vice-president of the European Parliament indicated that “We can see more clearly who the EU’s allies are, and Cuba chose to side with a war criminal: Vladimir Putin”. Regarding the imposition of individual sanctions, Victor Gonzalez Coello member of Spanish parliament said, “with this list you have provided us with of judges and fiscal attorneys, we will start looking for these people’s properties and assets to freeze them. The same with the military elite you provided us with”.
“We need to treat Diaz-Canel and the Castros as the thugs they are”, pointed out Senator Rick Scott during his remarks and Congressman Carlos Gimenez concluded that “the Cuban dictatorship is a threat to the safety and security to the people of United States”. Congresswoman Malliotakis, from the United States, emphasized the importance of using “our public platforms to advocate for the aforementioned action points as well as to as advancing them through bills and resolutions in our respective legislative chambers” as established in the Declaration of DC approved by all the members of the FORUM today. “The Cuban doctor brigades have been labeled human trafficking by the U.S. State Department. We will be watching if Mexico abides by the USMCA free trade agreement” said Congresswoman María Elvira Salazar, in support of the Declaration of DC that calls all governments to “apply vigorously national and international laws forbidding the modern slavery and human trafficking practices of the Cuban dictatorship”.
From Bolivia, congressman Jose Ormachea said that “Morales, and his puppet government, are absolutely and firmly aligned with the global interests not only of the Dictator of Cuba, but they stand with the Russians, the Iranians, the Venezuelan regime and the Chinese Communist Party as well, and they are absolutely vocal and, sadly enough, proud about it.” Senator Paola Holguin in Colombia denounced the interference of the Cuban Dictatorship in her country. From Chile, Senator Felipe Kast, concluded, reading the Declaration of DC.
The session closed with a recognition to the longtime supporter of democracy in Cuba, Carl Gershman, former President of the National Endowment for Democracy and the recipient of the 5th Oswaldo Payá Liberty and Life award. “Carl Gershman has been a model for all of us for his dignity, his decency and his never-ending fight for freedom” mentioned Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart.
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