Press Release: Over 2,000 appeal to expel Cuba from the UNHRC. Protesters outside Cuban Embassy in Washington DC demand freedom of the Guantanamo Five and all Cuban political prisoners.


Over 2,000 appeal to expel Cuba from the UN Human Rights Council.

Protesters outside the Cuban Embassy in Washington DC demand the freedom of the Guantanamo Five and all Cuban political prisoners.

Contacts: John Suarez (612) -367-6845/ Janisset Rivero 786-208-6056

Washington, D.C., May 12, 2023. Center for a Free Cuba. Over 2,000 human rights advocates, religious leaders, writers, artists, intellectuals, journalists, businessmen, former diplomats and academicians appeal to members of the UN General Assembly to expel Cuba from the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

Repression is increasing in Cuba together with the number of political prisoners. This includes five youth violently detained in Caimanera, Guantanamo, this past May 6, 2023 when peacefully assembled with hundreds of others demanding food and freedom. Their names are: Luis Miguel Alarcón Martínez,  Felipe Correa Martínez, Daniel Álvarez González, Rody Álvarez González and Yandris Pelier Matos.

This is one more reason Cuba has no place on the UNHRC.

Among those petitioning to have Cuba expelled from the UNHRC are Regis Iglesias Ramirez, spokesman of the Christian Liberation Movement, a prisoner of conscience who spent seven years in a Cuban prison; Paquito D’Rivera, Grammy-winning musician and composer; Hillel Neuer, Executive Director, UN Watch;  Dr. Jianli 建利 Yang 杨, President, Citizen Power Initiatives for China; Mary Curtis Horowitz, Chair, Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy; Guillermo Marmol, businessman and Chairman, Center for a Free Cuba; Dmytro Potekhin, Ukrainian civic activist and blogger; and Ambassador Everett Briggs, former U.S. ambassador to Portugal and Panama.

Also, among those signing, are:Reverend Mario Felix Lleonart Barroso, presbyter, founder and coordinator, Patmos Institute, Frank Calzón, political scientist, human rights advocate, and author, and  John Suarez, Executive Director, Center for a Free Cuba.

Yesterday afternoon these three activists, together with others, held a protest in front of the Cuban Embassy in Washington DC to demand the release of all political prisoners and called attention specifically to these five new Guantánamo prisoners.

Reverend Mario Felix Lleonart Barroso ended the protest in a group prayer (video available here) for the freedom of all political prisoners, and the five youths jailed on May 6, 2023 in Guantanamo. Recognizing that Mother’s Day is on Sunday, the Reverend also prayed for all the heart broken mothers of those murdered, disappeared or jailed by the regime, and that one day soon Cuba will be free and Cuban mothers rejoicing when they are reunited with their loved ones.

“The violence once again visited upon hundreds of Cubans assembling peacefully to demand their rights by agents of the Cuban government on May 6, 2023,  strengthens our claim that Cuba must be expelled from the UN Human Rights Council,” said John Suárez, Executive Director of the Center for a Free Cuba.

The petition for the expulsion of Cuba has gathered 2,028 signatures because a country that murders, tortures, and imprisons its human rights defenders, barred the International Red Cross from visiting Cuban prisons for decades, subverts international human rights norms, bars the circulation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and tortures and  kills non-violent dissidents in other countries should not have a seat on the UN Human Rights Council.

Petition remains open and continues to gather signatures: 

The Center for a Free Cuba calls on the international community to request the release of all Cuban political prisoners and for members of the UN General Assembly to 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.