Organization of American States Secretary-General of Luis Almagro Friday accused Cuba's government of applying “state terrorism to those who think differently” and held the current authorities of the Caribbean island accountable “for the health and well-being” of the 55 Cuban human rights activists on hunger strike.
It is time for democracy to return to Cuba, said Almagro, who stressed that there are already several generations of Cubans who have no rights or freedoms due to an authoritarian regime.
The head of the OAS took part in a virtual press conference held by the Cuba Decide organization, together with José Daniel Ferrer, head of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU), who has been on a hunger strike for seven days.
The protest, to which 55 people have joined in Cuba and eight abroad, is due to the police siege that the headquarters of that organization in Altamira, in Santiago, has suffered for 12 days.
We have no other option, said Ferrer via Zoom. This is a blockade, he added. UNPACU carries out humanitarian work with food and assistance from its headquarters to help the elderly, the sick and single mothers with several children and without resources, and these people have not been able to go there for 12 days, he explained.
Both Almagro and Rosa María Payá, from the organization Cuba Decide, appealed to the international community to show solidarity with this protest and demand an end to the Cuban people's suffering and the impunity of the regime headed by President Miguel Díaz Canel as well as by former President and Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) leader Raúl Castro Ruz.
Payá pointed out that it is sad that many Cubans have no other resource than their own body to denounce and protest the repression and the critical humanitarian situation in their country.
Ferrer said that one of the strikers who started fasting seven days ago had to stop due to blood pressure issues while other participants are beginning to show health problems.
He was also quick to remind his audience that the Cuban government was celebrating the 62nd anniversary of the creation of the Department of State Security, the political police that maintains control of the nation with terror and other nefarious actions.
But it is also the 24th anniversary of an act of police repression that made UNPACU decide to stop doing its work in hiding to have open peaceful opposition.
During the conference, several exiles and political exes intervened who demanded more international sanctions and not to negotiate with the Cuban government and invoked the slogan Homeland and life, from the homonymous song that calls for a political change in Cuba and has already exceeded four million views on YouTube.
Ramón Saúl Sánchez, from the Democracy Movement, indicated that in Cuba people are also dying of despair, and Rosa María Payá, who heads the Pan-American Foundation for Democracy in addition to being the leader of Cuba Decide, asked that the alarm be raised International for the siege of the UNPACU headquarters and the hunger strike.
It is urgent -said Payá- that the international community take note of the state terrorism that is applied daily in Cuba and help stop it.