CubaBrief: US Senate passes unanimous resolution demanding release of Cuban dissident. CFC present today in Roll Call of Nations Ceremony and Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom Presentation

The Center for a Free Cuba  took part today in the 13th Annual Roll Call of Nations Ceremony and Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom Presentation to leading Cuban dissident José Daniel Ferrer with remarks by Senator Marco Rubio and Congressman Dan Lipinski.  The Center has participated in the Roll Call over the past 12 years and been present with Cuban political prisoners and dissidents with a wreath.

Today we were present in the virtual ceremony with white flowers for the freedom of the Cuban people.

It is concerning that on this 13th anniversary Marion Smith revealed that the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOC) has been the target of cyber attacks, the Memorial was vandalized by rioters in DC, and VOC staff have been subjected to “targeted harassment and threats of violence.”  Marion goes on to vow that VOC will not be silenced, and that communism and fascism have no place in America. It is also disturbing that the memorial to victims of Communism in Estonia was vandalized two weeks earlier.

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The Center extends its solidarity and support for VOC at this difficult time, and joins them in the work to see a world free of communist dictatorships.

We recommend viewing the video embedded below that begins with the first gathering in 2007 that began with speeches from President George W. Bush and Congressman and Holocaust survivor Tom Lantos.

The Center is also saddened that the 2020 Truman Laureate José Daniel Ferrer was detained by the Castro regime in the hours prior to receiving this honor. However, we are grateful that the United States Senate approved a resolution co-led by Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), and Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) calling for the Cuban dissident’s immediate release.

Marco Rubio US Senator of Florida, June 12, 2020

Senate Unanimously Approves Rubio Co-Led Resolution Calling for the Release of Cuban Activist José Daniel Ferrer

Jun 12 2020

Miami, FL — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) joined Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Ben Cardin (D-MD), and Susan Collins (R-ME) in releasing the following statements after the Senate unanimously approved their resolution calling for the immediate release of Cuban democracy activist José Daniel Ferrer. Mr. Ferrer was imprisoned on October 1, 2019 and arbitrarily convicted on April 3, 2020 to a sentence of four and a half years. The bipartisan resolution also commends and highlights Mr. Ferrer’s efforts to promote human rights and fundamental freedoms in Cuba.
“José Daniel Ferrer, honored as the Truman Reagan Medal of Freedom laureate, has left an everlasting mark in the fight for democracy and basic freedoms in Cuba,” Rubio said. “I was proud to join this bipartisan resolution honoring a truly remarkable man who has dedicated his life to defending human rights and the rule of law in his beloved homeland.”

“I am very pleased to see the Senate speak with one voice in calling for the immediate release of José Daniel Ferrer,” Menendez said. “The Cuban regime’s fixation with targeting Mr. Ferrer for dedicating his life to promoting democracy and human rights in the island is simply unacceptable. Those who fight for the values of democracy, freedom and equality deserve to have a reliable ally in the United States government. Through this resolution, we reiterate our demands for the Cuban regime to immediately cease its campaign of intimidation against José Daniel and UNPACU’s members.” 

“Cuba’s unjust harassment, detention, and arrests of political activists like José Daniel Ferrer must end. Bipartisan support for human rights and democracy around the world and here at home should never end,” Senator Cardin said, Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere. “Congress will continue to press Cuba to take meaningful steps toward genuine freedoms and political pluralism for the Cuban people, which are long overdue.”
“I am pleased our resolution calling for the immediate release of Jose Daniel Ferrer passed with strong bipartisan support,” Senator Cruz said. “This sends a clear and unified message to Miguel Díaz-Canel and Raul Castro that the United States has not forgotten about Jose’s unjust imprisonment, and that we extend our unwavering support in his fight against their repression and violence.”
“José Daniel Ferrer is a committed and outspoken advocate for democracy who has repeatedly risked his liberty and his life in order to promote freedom for his fellow Cubans,” Senator Collins said.  “His arbitrary imprisonment and mistreatment at the hands of Cuban authorities are egregious violations of human rights.  Our bipartisan resolution expresses the Senate’s solidarity with Mr. Ferrer’s courageous fight for democratic principles, condemns the unjust actions of Cuban authorities, and calls for his immediate and unconditional release.”

The full text of the resolution is here.

Thank You for Joining Us for the
13th Annual Roll Call of Nations

Thank you for joining us virtually for the 13th Annual Roll Call of Nations Ceremony and Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom Presentation to leading Cuban dissident José Daniel Ferrer with remarks by Senator Marco Rubio and Congressman Dan Lipinski.

We were joined by 12 official diplomatic missions and 27 partner organizations to honor the memory of the more than 100 million victims of communism, to celebrate liberty where it has triumphed, and to further our pursuit of a world free from communist tyranny.

Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom
Awarded to Leading Cuban Dissident

José Daniel Ferrer is an internationally recognized human rights defender, former political prisoner, leader of the Patriotic Union of Cuba, and promoter of Cuba Decide. We presented him with the Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom for his tireless work fighting for freedom against Cuba’s communist government.

In an attempt to prevent Mr. Ferrer from participating in our event, Cuban state security forces surrounded his home last night and arrested numerous human rights defenders throughout the island. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo commended Mr. Ferrer on receiving the Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom and called for his immediate release. 

Learn More

What do you call a system that combines slavery with espionage? In communist Cuba, you call it humanitarian aid. Marion Smith writes in The Wall Street Journal about the tens of thousands of doctors sent abroad by Havana as a supposed sign of goodwill, only to steal their income.

Hear the story of Rosa María Payá whose father, Oswaldo Payá, was murdered by the Castro brothers because he dared to believe Cuba could be free from the grip of communism. His daughter continues his fight against communism and wages her own battle for democracy.

We are hosting an online event series called Cuba’s Communist Threat to help Americans understand the nature of the Communist Party of Cuba, Cuba’s medical brigades, and the impact of the Castro regime on Latin America and other regions around the world.

Special Thanks to Participating Diplomatic Missions and Partner Organizations

  • H.E. Ambassador Tihomir Stoytchev, Embassy of Bulgaria

  • Minister Counselor Graeme McIntyre, Embassy of Canada

  • H.E. Ambassador Pjer Šimunović, Embassy of Croatia

  • H.E. Ambassador Jonatan Vseviov, Embassy of Estonia

  • H.E. Ambassador David Bakradze, Embassy of Georgia

  • Charge D’Affaires Dóra Zombori, Embassy of Hungary

  • H.E. Ambassador Māris Selga, Embassy of Latvia

  • H.E. Ambassador Rolandas Kriščiūnas, Embassy of Lithuania

  • H.E. Ambassador Piotr Wilczek, Embassy of Poland

  • H.E. Ambassador Ivan Korčok, Embassy of Slovak Republic

  • H.E. Ambassador Volodymyr Yelchenko, Embassy of Ukraine 

  • Deputy Chief of Mission Christine Hsueh, Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States

  • Albanian American Council

  • The Belarusian-American Association

  • Bitter Winter

  • Campaign for Uyghurs

  • Center for a Free Cuba

  • Citizen Power Initiatives for China  

  • Committee for Human Rights in North Korea

  • Congress of World Hmong People

  • Council of the Belarusian Democratic Republic

  • Cuba Decide

  • Estonian American National Council

  • Friends of Falun Gong

  • Friends of the Imperial City of Hue

  • Humanitarian China

  • Hungarian American Coalition

  • The Hungary Initiatives Foundation

  • International Committee for Crimea, Inc.

  • North Korea Freedom Coalition

  • Union of Cuban Former Political Prisoners

  • United Macedonian Diaspora

  • U.S.-Ukraine Foundation

  • Uyghur Human Rights Project

  • Victims of Vietnam

  • Vietnam Coalition Against Torture

  • The Women’s Organization “Hope & Peace”

  • Women’s Rights Without Frontiers

Thank you for supporting the mission and work of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.