COMUNICADO DE PRENSA: CENTRO POR UNA CUBA PIDE EN NUEVA YORK EXPULSIÓN DE CUBA DEL CONSEJO DE DERECHOS HUMANOS DE LA ONU Y LA APLICACIÓN DEL MAGNITSKY ACT CONTRA DÍAZ CANEL 

COMUNICADO DE PRENSA 

 

CENTRO POR UNA CUBA PIDE EN NUEVA YORK EXPULSIÓN DE CUBA DEL CONSEJO DE DERECHOS HUMANOS DE LA ONU Y LA APLICACIÓN DEL MAGNITSKY ACT CONTRA DÍAZ CANEL 

“DIAZ-CANEL DIO LA ORDEN DE MATAR A CUBANOS INDEFENSOS, Y ES RESPONSABLE POR LA MUERTE Y EL ENCARCELAMIENTO DE INOCENTES”

Adjunto dos peticiones

 Contacto: John Suarez (612) -367-6845/ Janisset Rivero 786-2086056 

 

Nueva York, 18 de septiembre de 2023. Centro por una Cuba Libre. El Centro por una Cuba Libre (CCL) dio a conocer durante una conferencia de prensa en las inmediaciones de la sede de la Organización de Naciones Unidas en Nueva York dos iniciativas que denuncian la naturaleza criminal del régimen de La Habana y el testimonio de Orelvys Cabrera, testigo presencial de los hechos ocurridos en la Isla durante las protestas de julio del 2021. 

“Los hechos demuestran que Miguel Diaz-Canel debería ser sancionado por sus crímenes de lesa humanidad, primero contra los cubanos, por su llamado del dia 11 de julio de 2021, que provocó las muertes, las agresiones, las heridas y encarcelamiento injustificado de miles de cubanos. En segundo lugar, Diaz-Canel ha apoyado incondicionalmente, de palabra y hecho, la invasión rusa a Ucrania y ha llegado al punto infame de enviar a jóvenes cubanos a luchar junto a los rusos en la invasión illegal a Ucrania, cometiendo crímenes de guerra”, dijo John Suárez, Director Ejecutivo del Centro.  

Durante la conferencia se presentaron dos mil doscientas ochenta firmas de personalidades internacionales pidiendo la expulsión de Cuba del Consejo de Derechos Humanos, documento que fue enviado a la Casa Blanca y a los miembros de la Asamblea General de la ONU que son países libres. Asimismo se presentó la petición enviada a la administración Biden para que se apliquen las sanciones Magnitsky contra Miguel Díaz Canel por su actuación criminal. 

 “Diaz-Canel dio la orden de matar a cubanos indefensos y es responsible por la muerte y el encarcelamiento de inocentes, asi como del sufrimiento y el terror implantado en las familias de las víctimas y de toda la sociedad civil cubana ”, dijo Orelvys Cabrera, periodista independiente quien participó en julio del 2021 en las protestas masivas y fue reprimido y encarcelado. 

“Después de la orden de combate lanzada por Diaz-Canel yo vi la maquinaria represora enfrentar a un pueblo desarmado. Vi a los policías disparando contra ese pueblo, el allanamiento ilegal de viviendas, y las torturas psicológicas y físicas a las que fuimos sometidos los encarcelados durante las protestas. Yo vi a jóvenes llegar al centro de detención donde me encontraba en Matanzas en un período de 7 días, defecando sangre, un muchacho de la raza negra llegar con un ojo casi salido de la cuenca ocular debido a los golpes que recibió, y otros con tiros en su cuerpo, vi a menores de edad que cumplían el Servicio Militar Obligatorio, ser puestos frente al pueblo que protestaba exigiendoles que los reprimieron. Pude grabar a los policías empujando a los jóvenes contra el pueblo, pero todas esas imágenes fueron confiscadas con mi teléfono, y mi cámara me la rompieron durante mi arresto”, afirmó Cabrera durante la conferencia. 

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Expel Cuba from the UN Human Rights Council

We condemn the UN General Assembly decision to elect Cuba’s Castro regime to be one of the 47 member states on the UN Human Rights Council, for the 2021-2023 term.

Havana spent decades at the vanguard of undermining international human rights standards. Here are two examples of Cuba’s Castro regime’s attacks on human rights in the UN Human Rights Council in the past.

On March 28, 2008 the Cuban delegation, together with the Organization of the Islamic Congress, successfully passed resolutions that turned the UN special rapporteur on freedom of expression from defending free expression to policing freedom of expression

Less than a year later, on February 2, 2009 during the first Universal Periodic Review of China, Cuban Ambassador, Juan Antonio Fernández Palacios, recommended that China repress human rights defenders with more firmness making a mockery out of the new human rights instrument.

The Castro regime does not deserve to be on the Council undermining international human rights standards. It deserves to be prosecuted by the International Criminal Court for its own human rights violations committed while presently on the Council.

  • Since 1989 the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has not been permitted to inspect conditions in Cuban prisons, although between 2002 and the present the ICRC visited detainees over 100 times at the United States Guantanamo Naval Base prison in eastern Cuba.

  • Cuba is the only country in the Americas that Amnesty International, and other independent human rights monitors, cannot visit, and where independent human rights groups are considered illegal.

  • While on the UN Human Rights Council the Cuban government has engaged in escalating violence and repression against Cuban nationals.

  • Cuban government agents were involved in the extrajudicial killings of Cuban human rights defenders Oswaldo Payá and Harold Cepero on July 22, 2012.

  • On July 11, 2021 tens of thousands of Cubans across the island in over 50 cities and towns took part in large non-violent demonstrations chanting “freedom”, “yes, we can”, “we are not afraid. Protests, despite the harsh government response, would continue until July 13th.

  • President Miguel Díaz-Canel appeared on national Cuban television on July 11, 2021 declaring: “They [protesters] would have to pass over our dead bodies if they want to confront the revolution, and we are willing to resort to anything.” (Source: https://youtu.be/STkFxRS6gH4 ) … “We are calling on all the revolutionaries of the country, all the communists, to take to the streets and go to the places where these provocations are going to take place today from now on, and in all these days and face it decisively, firmly, with courage.” (Source: https://youtu.be/pd5SAVZkbVU ) The Cuban president concluded his address stating “the order of combat is given, revolutionaries take to the streets.” (Source: https://youtu.be/t7MX8O3L5WM ). This combat order was an incitement to violence by government security forces against civilians. (Sources: Freedom House, RSF).

  • Protesters and journalists reported beatings of protesters and multiple cases of arbitrary detentions. (Source: Human Rights Watch) Amnesty International received reports on July 12, 2021 of “internet outages, arbitrary detentions, excessive use of force, including police firing on protesters, and allegations that there are a long list of missing people. ” (Source: Amnesty International).

  • On July 12, 2021 Rosa María Payá reported that a source in Santiago de Cuba said “Five dead… more than 20 people arrived at the provincial hospital with severe injuries… an old man who had his brains knocked out with a stick.” (Source: CubaDecide).

  • Videos emerged of National Revolutionary Police firing on protesters, riot police dressed in black also firing on protesters, and Cuban civilians with gunshot wounds, including one fatally shot. Other videos showed security forces violently assaulting nonviolent protesters, and busing in and arming supporters to attack protesters. ( Source: Center for a Free Cuba )

  • The Cuban government officially recognized one Cuban killed on July 12th during the protests, Diubis Laurencio Tejeda, (age 36). (Source: BBC News) He was shot in the back by regime officials on day two of nationwide protests in Cuba in a suburb of Havana. (Source: European Parliament, Proyecto Inventario, CubaDecide). NGOs placed the number at five, but the total number remains unknown. Received anecdotal reports that family members of others killed have been threatened to remain silent.

  • Hundreds of Cubans were (and are) being subjected to summary trials in express courts without defense attorneys. (Sources: ISHR, Havana Times).  Hundreds more, including children, were sentenced to long prison terms of up to 30 years for taking part in the 11J protests.

  • Decree-Law 35 issued by the dictatorship entered into force on August 18, 2021. The new law penalizes “ethical and social” harm done “or incidents of aggression”, “or defamations that harm “the prestige of the country” on social media, reported 14ymedio. The text entering into force was approved on April 13, 2021. This law expands restrictions on publishing online. (Source: PEN, Freedom House, HRW)

  • Today, Havana is backing the Russian invasion of Ukraine, repeating disinformation, and persecuting Cubans on the island who demonstrate their solidarity with the people of Ukraine.

The election of the Cuban regime of Raul Castro to the Human Rights Council in 2020 made a mockery of the dysfunctional international human rights body.

Now is the time to clean up the dysfunctional human rights council so that it can carry out its duties at this critical time.

Therefore, we request that the UN General Assembly invoke Article 8 of the Council’s founding resolution and remove Cuba’s Castro regime on account of its gross and systematic violations of human rights. More than ever, the world has to stand with the victims in Cuba, and not with the wrongdoer.

Signatories,

Regis Iglesias Ramirez, spokesman, Movimiento Cristiano Liberación.

Mary Curtis Horowitz, Chair, Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy

Guillermo Marmol, businessman and Chairman, Center for a Free Cuba

Paquito D’Rivera, Grammy-winning musician and composer 

Everett Ellis Briggs, U.S. Ambassador (ret.)

Sirley Ávila León, human rights activist and victim of regime orchestrated machete attack in 2015.

Ambassador Otto J. Reich, former Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemispheric Affairs, former U.S. Ambassador to Venezuela; President, Center for a Free Cuba

Hillel Neuer, Executive Director, UN Watch

Rosa María Payá, founder and director, CubaDecide and Fundación para la Democracia Panamericana

Dr. Jianli 建利 Yang 杨, President, Citizen Power Initiatives for China

Dr. Anna María Cervone, president, L’Internationale des Femmes Démocrates du Centre (IFDC)

Carlos Eire, Professor of History and Religious Studies, Yale University

Nestor Carbonell, author, and businessman

Graciella Cruz-Taura, Professor of History, Florida Atlantic University

Carlos Alberto Montaner, journalist and author

Josefina Vento, DDS, dentist 

Roberto de Jesús Quiñones, journalist and attorney

Raul Masvidal, entrepreneur, civic leader, Managing Partner, Masvidal Partners

Jorge Olivera Castillo, journalist, poet, and dissident.

Laida A. Carro, Coalition of Cuban-American Women

Eduardo Zayas-Bazán, Profesor Emeritus, East TN State University

Elsa Morejón, human rights defender

Roberto San Martín, Actor

Sebastián Arcos Cazabon, Cuban Committee for Human Rights

Amalia Dache, Professor, Graduate School of Education,  University of Pennsylvania 

Ariel Ruiz Urquiola, Cuban biologist, former professor, University of Havana

Sergio Díaz-Briquets, consultant

Ileana Fuentes, Cuban-American feminist author

German J Miret, businessman, author

Michael Lima Cuadra, director, Democratic Spaces

Frank Calzón, political scientist, human rights advocate, and author

Victor J. Pujals, Professional Engineer

Dmytro Potekhin, Ukrainian civic activist and blogger

Kizzy Macias, Fundación de Artivismo ProActivo Miami

Ahmed Samih Farag,  Andalus Institute for Tolerance and Anti-Violence Studies

Erich de la Fuente, Adjunct Professor, Florida International University

Josefina Vento, DDS, dentist 

Charles Alfredo Donate, Faculty Administrator, Florida International University

Enrique del Risco,  Clinical University Professor, New York University

Carmen Pelaez, Cuban American filmmaker, writer, activist

Manuel Cuesta Morua, Spokesman, Partido Arco Progresista. Coordinator, Plataforma Nuevo País

Saily González Velazquez, Entrepreneur, Activist

Teresa Ortiz, L.L.M, J.D., Cuba Demanda

Eric Chenoweth, Institute for Democracy in Eastern Europe

Vicente Morín Aguado, journalist

Tony Costa, Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba

Ariel Ruiz Urquiola, biologist and former professor at the University of Havana

Janisset Rivero, writer and human rights activist

John Suarez, Executive Director, Center for a Free Cuba

https://chng.it/7ymxj5T6RC

Petition to apply Global Magnitsky Sanctions to Miguel Mario Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, Cuban president, First Secretary Communist Party of Cuba

Miguel Mario Díaz-Canel Bermúdez on April 19, 2018 was named president of Cuba, and on April 19, 2021 became First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba. This formally made him the maximum authority in the country. During his time in office, President Díaz-Canel, and members of his government have engaged in serious and systemic human rights abuses.

One day after being named president, Diaz-Canel on April 20, 2018 presided over the issuing of Decree 349, that further restricted artistic expression by mandating the Ministry of Culture’s approval of both public and private cultural events and banned the use of “unpatriotic symbols”. (Sources: PEN, Freedom House, Amnesty International)

In  July 2019, Díaz-Canel prohibited Cubans from storing their information  on foreign servers, a further restriction on Cuba’s outlawed independent  press, and criminalized the circulation  of “information contrary to the social interest, morals, good customs,  and integrity of people,” with Decree  Law 370 going into effect. (Sources: ISHR, Human  Rights Watch, Freedom  House)

Decree  Law 389, brought into force on November  18, 2019 allows  for “investigators to engage in electronic surveillance without prior  judicial  approval and use the resulting information as evidence in criminal  cases. Anonymity and encryption technologies are legally prohibited.”  (Sources: Freedom  House, New  Generation Foundation )

President and First Secretary Díaz-Canel has been (and is) directly responsible for serious and ongoing human rights abuses in Cuba and Venezuela.

On May 11, 2019 gay rights activists were beaten down, and arrested for carrying out the annual Gay Pride march in Havana after the government unilaterally canceled it. (Source: Freedom House )

Since the activation of Decree Law 370 there has been “a wave of interrogations of independent journalists that include threats against their families as well as pressure to delete and discontinue their critical coverage of the government on social media.”(Source: Freedom House, Human Rights Watch, CPJ ). This worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The U.S. State Department’s “2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Cuba” reported that Cuban intelligence agents were training Venezuelan and Nicaraguan counterparts on the “use of repressive tactics and human rights abuses and sometimes participated in the abuses directly.” (Sources: State Department, CASLA). UN reports accused Venezuela’s Directorate General of Military Counterintelligence “(DGCIM) of torture, and many former Venezuelan prisoners said that Cubans, identified by their distinctive accents, supervised while DGCIM personnel tortured prisoners.”(Sources: United Nations, State Department, CASLA)

The U.S. State Department also included Cuba again in tier 3 of the 2021 Trafficking in Persons Report due to continued sex trafficking and labor trafficking in benefit of the corrupt government: “During the reporting period, there was a government policy or government pattern to profit from labor export programs with strong indications of forced labor, particularly its foreign medical missions program”. There is a high correlation of human trafficking with corruption in Cuba using hard currency from the medical brigades to benefit members of the government instead of providing adequate health care services in the country.

On July 11, 2021 tens of thousands of Cubans across the island in over 50 cities and towns took part in large non-violent demonstrations chanting “freedom”, “yes, we can”, “we are not afraid. Protests, despite the harsh government response, would continue until July 13th.

President Miguel Díaz-Canel appeared on national Cuban television on July 11, 2021 declaring: “They [protesters] would have to pass over our dead bodies if they want to confront the revolution, and we are willing to resort to anything.” (Source: https://youtu.be/STkFxRS6gH4 ) … “We are calling on all the revolutionaries of the country, all the communists, to take to the streets and go to the places where these provocations are going to take place today from now on, and in all these days and face it decisively, firmly, with courage.” (Source: https://youtu.be/pd5SAVZkbVU

The Cuban president concluded his address stating “the order of combat is given, revolutionaries take to the streets.” (Source: https://youtu.be/t7MX8O3L5WM ). This combat order was an incitement to violence by government security forces against civilians. (Source: Freedom House, RSF).

Protesters and journalists reported beatings of protesters and multiple cases of arbitrary detentions. (Source: Human Rights Watch ) Amnesty International received reports on July 12, 2021 of “internet outages, arbitrary detentions, excessive use of force, including police firing on protesters, and allegations that there are a long list of missing people. ” (Source: Amnesty International).

On July 12, 2021 Rosa María Payá reported that a source in Santiago de Cuba said “Five dead… more than 20 people arrived at the provincial hospital with severe injuries… an old man who had his brains knocked out with a stick.” (Source: CubaDecide).

Videos emerged of National Revolutionary Police firing on protesters, riot police dressed in black also firing on protesters, and Cuban civilians with gunshot wounds, including one fatally shot. Other videos showed security forces violently assaulting nonviolent protesters, and bussing in and arming supporters to attack protesters. ( Source: Center for a Free Cuba )

The Cuban government officially recognized one Cuban killed on July 12th during the protests, Diubis Laurencio Tejeda, (age 36). He was shot in the back by regime officials on day two of nationwide protests in Cuba in a suburb of Havana. (Source: European Parliament, Proyecto Inventario, CubaDecide). NGOs placed the number at five, but the total number remains unknown. Received anecdotal reports that family members of others killed have been threatened to remain silent.

Hundreds of Cubans were (and are) being subjected to summary trials in express courts without defense attorneys. (Sources: ISHR, Havana Times)

These threats also extend to family members.

Cuban human rights defenders attempting to document the situation on the island face threats not only against themselves, but against their families. On August 23, 2021 it was also demonstrated that living in the diaspora does not protect you from these threats. State Security visited the mother of exiled human rights defender and Cubalex executive director Laritza Diversent and told her “that she could end paying for her daughter’s work.” Apparently inspired by the May 23, 2021 “intercept” by Belarusian authorities of independent journalist Roman Protasevich, and his girlfriend Sofia Sapega who were on board a plane forced down by a MiG 29, the state security agents said that they would “intercept Laritza Diversent in the United States or another country” to “take her to Cuba” and try her. (Source: Center for a Free Cuba, Cubalex )

Decree-Law 35 issued by the dictatorship entered into force on August 18, 2021. The new law penalizes “ethical and social” harm done “or incidents of aggression”, “or defamations that harm “the prestige of the country” on social media, reported 14ymedio. The text entering into force was approved on April 13, 2021. This law expands restrictions on publishing online. (Source: PEN, Freedom House, HRW)

Havana does not release information on arrests, prison population size, and officials lie about it when asked, but other sources provide partial estimates along with concrete data. 14ymedio, the press outfit founded by Yoani Sanchez, estimates more than 5,000 detained. Cubalex, a human rights NGO, identified 1,079 detained or missing Cubans, related to the protests that began on July 11th, in their database as of September 22, 2021.

Díaz-Canel on May 19, 2023 declared to Russian Deputy Prime Minister, Dmitri Chernishenko, “Cuba’s unconditional support for the Russian Federation in its confrontation with the West.” This has meant Havana’s backing of Moscow’s illegal Ukraine invasion diplomatically, propagandistically, and militarily.  

Miguel Mario Díaz-Canel Bermúdez is not only responsible because he is the head of state, but he has also been directly engaging violent supporters and his security forces to attack nonviolent demonstrators and he has been directly coordinating repression in Cuba. He is responsible for massive human rights violations, persecutions, and corruption in Cuba.

This is a partial summary, but it should be sufficient to apply Global Magnitsky sanctions to Cuban president Miguel Mario Díaz-Canel Bermúdez.

Perpetrator Information:
Full Legal Name of Perpetrator: Miguel Mario Díaz-Canel Bermúdez Country: Cuba
Title or Position: Presidente de la República de Cuba Date of Birth:April 20, 1960
Other Known Personal Identifiers: Miguel Díaz Canel, President of the Republic of Cuba
Hidalgo, Esquina 6. Plaza de la Revolución, La Habana, CP 10400, Cuba
Email:
despacho@presidencia.gob.cu Twitter:@DiazCanelB Facebook: @PresidenciadeCuba

Petitioner:

John Suarez, Executive Director, Center for a Free Cuba Phone: 612-367-6845 Website: cubacenter.org Address: 417 West Broad St., Suite 204 Falls Church, VA 22046