JERSEY CITY, N.J. – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today issued the following statement in reaction to a day of massive protests in cities and towns across Cuba calling for the end of the communist dictatorship:
“In an historic day of protests, the world is bearing witness as thousands of Cubans take to the streets to call for an end to dictatorship in their country. Despite ongoing persecution on the island, Cubans are bravely joining to demand nothing more than the ability to live safely and speak their minds, freely, openly, and without fear.
“For decades, Cuba’s dictatorship has used violence and repression to silence its people, rather than permit the free exercise of democracy and their basic social rights. This must end. The world’s eyes are on Cuba tonight and the dictatorship must understand we will not tolerate the use of brute force to silence the aspirations of the Cuban people.
“As I’ve said over the years, no one wishes that the reality in Cuba was more different than the Cuban people and Cuban-Americans that have fled the island in search of freedom. Let us hear their voices. Listen to their cries of desperation. Support their demands by ensuring we do not perpetuate the regime’s decades of repression.
“I will continue to use the strength of my voice and power of my office to ensure the United States stands in solidarity with the brave people of Cuba that are risking their lives today for change in their country and a future of Patria y Vida.”