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Rubio Joins Cruz & Menendez in Honoring Cuban Dissident Guillermo “El Coco” Fariñas

Sep 29, 2016 | Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) have joined together to introduce a bipartisan resolution honoring Cuban dissident Guillermo “El Coco” Fariñas and his ongoing struggle for political freedom and human rights in oppressive and totalitarian Cuba.

This summer, Fariñas, a distinguished recipient of the 2010 Andrei Sakharov Prize from the European Parliament, inquired with Cuban authorities about the fate of a colleague, who had disappeared some days before. Fariñas was severely beaten for his audacity, which prompted him to embark on his 24th hunger strike protest – his only peaceful means to draw attention to the plight of the Cuban people. For 54 days, Fariñas hung on, only breaking his fast when he believed the European Union had taken action against the Castros for their abysmal record on human rights.

“Guillermo ‘Coco’ Fariñas is a courageous leader who deserves the unwavering support of the United States,” said Sen. Rubio. “Regardless of where you stand on broader U.S.-Cuba policy, I hope the full Senate can come together to stand in solidarity with this Cuban patriot.”

“During Fariñas’ most recent hunger strike, even as President Obama was preparing to nominate an Ambassador to Cuba, the leader of the free world couldn’t bring himself to even mention Fariñas’ name, let alone exert any pressure on the Castros to improve their treatment of their own citizens,” said Sen. Cruz. “Where the president has failed, Congress can act. We can proclaim Guillermo Fariñas’ heroism and acknowledge the events of the last two months—which are simply a continuation of the last 50 years of Communist rule in Cuba. We can acknowledge the truth that the so-called ‘normalization’ of relations with Cuba has only resulted in more oppression and misery for the Cuban people. And we can continue to block any nominee President Obama puts forward to be Ambassador to Cuba until he addresses human rights on the island.”

Read the senators’ bipartisan resolution in its entirety here.