State Department Informed About Cuban Government Threats to Dissidents in Anticipation of Secretary Kerry’s Arrival.
For Immediate Distribution
Contact: Frank Calzon, 202-427-3875
Daniel Pedreira, 786-252-3928
The Center for a Free Cuba, early this evening, sent an urgent appeal to the Department of State asking that Secretary John Kerry and President Barack Obama call on General Raul Castro to stop the harassment, threats, and other outrages that began to be made on the island in anticipation of Secretary Kerry’s arrival. The full text of the message sent by the Center for a Free Cuba to the Department of State confirming an earlier telephone call follows:
August 12, 2015, 7:15 pm
Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs, the Honorable Roberta Jacobson
Coordinator for Cuban Affairs, Mr. Mark Wells
Dear Assistant Secretary Jacobson and Coordinator Wells:
This is an urgent message respectfully requesting that the following information be brought to the attention of Secretary John Kerry and President Barack Obama as soon as possible.
The Center for a Free Cuba has received during the last few hours reliable information from inside Cuba that Cuban intelligence officers have visited the homes of Cuban human rights leaders and pro-democracy activists to warn them that if they leave their home during the next few days in anticipation of Secretary Kerry’s visit to the island, they will be severely punished. The warnings have been made not only in Havana but in other provinces.
Many Cubans believe that Secretary Kerry and President Obama have personal responsibilities for the consequences of their policies and actions, recognizing that some of those outcomes are not the intention of the U.S. government. I am respectfully asking Secretary Kerry and President Obama to insist with General Raul Castro that the harassment of dissidents, the beating of peaceful women participating in peaceful, public protests, and the use of mobs organized by the Cuban authorities to beat dissidents, to break into their homes and destroy their furniture, and other outrages, is not only harmful to the victims, but to the process of normalization announced on December 17th by the President.
I pray to God and I ask men and women of goodwill inside and outside the U.S. government to also pray so that the well-meaning intentions of the President will not result in further abuse and unnecessary suffering in Cuba
Center for a Free Cuba
The Center for a Free Cuba is a human rights organization dedicated to the promotion of democracy and human rights in Cuba.