Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) led a bipartisan and bicameral letter to the Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Tania Reneaum Panszi, urging her “to direct the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to initiate an immediate investigation into the regime’s violations of the human rights of the Cuban people.” Since the historic and organic protests in Cuba, Senator Rubio has been steadfast in condemning the Díaz-Canel Castro regime’s assault on the Cuban people. The Díaz-Canel Castro regime has since detained and disappeared hundreds, if not thousands, of Cubans for participating in these peaceful protests. Rubio has written two letters to President Joe Biden, outlining the steps his administration should take in support of the courageous freedom fighters in Cuba.
In their letter, the legislators highlighted that “the only way to break down the culture of impunity within the regime is to investigate and publicize its crimes against the people of Cuba”.
Joining Rubio in sending the letter was Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) and Representatives María Elvira Salazar (R-FL), Brian Mast (R-FL), Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Mario Díaz-Balart (R-FL), Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL), Michael Waltz (R-FL), John Rutherford (R-FL), Daniel Webster (R-FL), Bill Posey (R-FL), Scott Franklin (R-FL), Carlos Giménez (R-FL), Charlie Christ (D-FL), Darren Soto (D-FL), Ted Deutch (D-FL), and W. Gregory Steube (R-FL).
Rubio is the Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights, and Global Women’s Issues.
The full text of the letter is below.
Dear Secretary Panszi:
We write with urgency regarding the historic and ongoing protests in Cuba. As you know, starting on July 11, thousands of Cubans rose up in cities across the island to protest against the chronic mismanagement and oppression of the Castro-Díaz-Canel regime. In order to maintain its tight control of the country, that regime has unjustly detained an unknown number of people. We urge you to direct the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to initiate an immediate investigation into the regime’s violations of the human rights of the Cuban people.
On July 15, 2021, the United Nations Committee on Enforced Disappearances (CED) requested Cuba to take urgent action to investigate 187 cases of alleged enforced disappearances of Cuban protesters and identify the perpetrators responsible for enforced disappearances. According to CED, “hundreds of people were reportedly detained or intercepted by security forces in more than 15 cities” in Cuba. We wish to echo and add to these concerns. According to information on social media and independent media sources, the true number of enforced disappearances and detainment of protesters is likely more than 5,000, which is much larger than the 187 cases mentioned by CED. Given the CED’s request, and significant number of people that are detained, We urge you to open a parallel investigation into these cases, as well as into the Cuban regime’s compliance with the CED request. To support this effort, we have attached to this letter a broader list of cases prepared by the Fundación para la Democracia Panamericana (FDP).
We have significant doubts as to the regime’s intention to credibly investigate these cases. During the 62 years of the regime’s rule on the island, it has consistently denied independent monitors, including the International Committee of the Red Cross and Human Rights Watch from investigating human rights abuses on the island. This creates an environment in Cuba that provides a complete lack of accountability for the perpetrators of human rights abuses.
At this historic time, it is more important than ever for the international community to pay attention to the historic protests in Cuba. The only way to break down the culture of impunity within the regime is to investigate and publicize its crimes against the people of Cuba. We know you share our goal to hold those perpetrators of human rights abuses accountable, both in Cuba and the rest of the region.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
RUBIO LIDERA CARTA BICAMERAL A CIDH SOBRE CUBA
Washington, D.C. — El senador estadounidense Marco Rubio (R-FL) lideró una carta bipartidista y bicameral a la Secretaria Ejecutiva de la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos, Tania Reneaum Panszi, instándola a “ordenarle a la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos que inicie una investigación sobre las violaciones del régimen cubano a los derechos humanos del pueblo de Cuba”. Tras las históricas protestas en Cuba, el senador Rubio ha sido enfático en condenar el ataque del régimen de Díaz-Canel/Castro contra el pueblo de Cuba. Desde entonces, el régimen de Díaz-Canel/Castro ha detenido y desaparecido a cientos, sino miles, de cubanos por participar en estas protestas pacíficas. Rubio le ha enviado dos misivas al presidente Joe Biden, describiendo los pasos que su administración debería tomar en apoyo a los valientes cubanos.
En su carta, los legisladores destacaron que “la única forma de quebrar la cultura de impunidad dentro del régimen es investigar y dar a conocer sus crímenes contra el pueblo de Cuba”.
Uniéndose a Rubio en enviar esta carta estaban el Senador Rick Scott (R-FL) y los Representantes María Elvira Salazar (R-FL), Brian Mast (R-FL), Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Mario Díaz-Balart (R-FL), Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL), Michael Waltz (R-FL), John Rutherford (R-FL), Daniel Webster (R-FL), Bill Posey (R-FL) ), Scott Franklin (R-FL), Carlos Giménez (R-FL), Charlie Christ (D-FL), Darren Soto (D-FL), Ted Deutch (D-FL) y W.Gregory Steube (R-FL).
El texto de la carta en inglés está aquí.
Rubio es el Miembro de Más Alto Rango del Subcomité sobre Hemisferio Occidental, Crimen Transnacional, Seguridad Civil, Democracia, Derechos Humanos y Asuntos Globales de la Mujer.