#CubaSinRepresión: The island is still in protest

#CubaSinRepresión: The island is still in protest

Published on 21 Feb 2024

Human Rights organizations fight for the release of political prisoners

More than 5,700 protests were registered in Cuba during 2023. A year that closed with 1,826 manifestations of popular discontent more than in the 2022 period, according to records published by the Cuban Observatory of Conflicts (OCC) which has promoted the hashtags #CubaEstadoFallido and #SocialismoEsMiseria.


For its part, Amnesty International has promoted a page, under the hashtag #CubaSinRepresión, with the slogan “support the people of Cuba, for a future without repression”.


How does it manifest itself in Cuba?


According to OCC statistics, during the month of January 2024, 626 spontaneous public protests were recorded on the island, surpassing the 529 recorded in December 2023, for an increase of more than 15%.


The OCC reports describe from blockades of public roads and pots and pans, messages of reprobation or insults via Facebook to Miguel Díaz-Canel, comments left in official media, memes, statements to independent media, hunger strikes and resistance to wearing the uniform of a common prisoner or to re-education in prisons, to campaigns in favor of people abandoned by the Government, and open letters or addressed to international organizations.


“Citizen insecurity and repressive acts motivated more than half of the demonstrations of discontent, aggravated by an economic ‘paquetazo’ of price increases and uncertainty with food, which stirred the hornet’s nest of popular revulsion”, the NGO points out.


This is how the regime responds to the demonstrations


The Cuban Observatory of Conflicts notes that Cuba has intensified its control over freedom of expression and assembly, reaching levels not seen in decades. For example, five activists designated prisoners of conscience by Amnesty International remain imprisoned.


Amnesty International expressed concern about the continued mass incarceration of people following the July 2021 protests, the situation of prisoners of conscience and restrictions on Internet access.


Mobilizations for the release of the demonstrators continue. In January 2024, more than one thousand people reportedly signed the request for an Amnesty Law for Cuban political prisoners, which was delivered by their relatives to the headquarters of the National Assembly of People’s Power.


This document emphasizes “the recognition that there was NO crime in manifesting the will for democratic change expressed by the citizens in the protests of July 2021, as well as in the collective and individual protests that preceded and followed this historic date, and which are part of a broader cycle that has freedom, human rights and democracy as its common claim”.


The response to the document by the Díaz Canel regime was clear: the document was filed because, according to them, it was not admissible.


Society ready for a change


Opposition organizations such as the Council for Democratic Transition and the democratic platform DFrente gave their support to the demand for an Amnesty Law and invited all their members to promote this request by all possible means. They recalled that the European Union, Latin America and the Vatican, whose most authoritative voices have also requested the amnesty, have shown their willingness to accompany this process.


“In accordance with all the signals emitted by the social majorities, Cuban society is ready to give space and opportunity to a politically and legally creative solution,” both organizations point out.


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