WASHINGTON — U.S. Senators Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) were joined by Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.) in introducing a Senate resolution expressing the U.S. Senate’s solidarity with Cuba’s San Isidro Movement, a collective of independent artists and activists who have recently been targeted by the Cuban regime for protesting in support of their right to freedom of expression. The bipartisan resolution calls for the immediate release of arbitrarily detained artists and activists from the San Isidro movement, urging governments and legislatures across Europe and Latin America to renew their support for democratic activists in Cuba.
“With this resolution, we stand in total solidarity with the courageous artists and activists in Cuba’s San Isidro Movement and join their call for greater respect for freedom of expression and social rights in the island,” said Senator Menendez. “Footage of the regime’s own culture minister physically attacking members of the San Isidro Movement makes one thing clear to the world: The Cuban people are still violently repressed and imprisoned. I urge my counterparts in Europe, Canada, and Latin America to join us in shining a light on this reprehensible situation and standing up for democratic values in Cuba.”
“The Cuban regime continues to target artists, dissidents, activists, academics, and journalists and the members of the San Isidro Movement are not exempt from the Diaz-Canel’s and Castro’s repression,” said Senator Rubio. “I’m proud to join Senator Menendez and my Senate colleagues in introducing this resolution condemning the latest wave of brutality by the Cuban dictatorship against the Cuban people.”
“While I have supported a change in our failed 50 year policy of isolating Cuba as a way of opening the island to new ideas and values, that does not mean giving the ruling dictatorship a pass on its abysmal democracy and human rights record,” Senator Durbin said. “The repression of the country’s artistic community, continued jailing of Jose Daniel Ferrer, and failure to hold anyone accountable for the death of Oswaldo Paya all demand continued international attention.”
“The U.S. continues to stand in solidarity with the Cuban people who peacefully advocate for more freedoms and rights from their government,” said Senator Cardin. “I am proud to support this resolution that highlights the efforts of the San Isidro Movement activists. I urge the Government of Cuba to release those unjustly detained and to engage in constructive dialogue with its critics.”
Find a copy of the resolution HERE.