May 21, 2020

Menendez, Colleagues Applaud Approval of Senate Bipartisan Resolution Calling for the Release of Cuban Activist Jose Daniel Ferrer

WASHINGTON – Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Senators Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Ted Cruz (R-Tx.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), and Susan Collins (R-Maine) today applauded the approval by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee of S. Res.454, a resolution calling for the immediate release of Cuban democracy activist Jose Daniel Ferrer, who was  imprisoned on October 1, 2019 and arbitrarily convicted on April 3, 2020 to a sentence of four years and six months. The resolution also commends Mr. Ferrer’s efforts to promote human rights and fundamental freedoms in Cuba.

“Jose Daniel Ferrer was arbitrarily convicted and jailed because he dedicated his life to promoting fundamental freedoms in Cuba. He must be release immediately and without conditions,” said Menendez. “I’m proud that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved this bipartisan resolution calling for Jose Daniel’s release and condemning the Cuban regime’s continuous oppressive tactics.

“For far too long, the members of UNPACU have been targets of the Cuban regime’s aggressions,” Rubio said. “UNPACU’s leader, José Daniel Ferrer, was arbitrarily detained for eight months on baseless allegations and currently remains under house arrest by the Castro and Díaz-Canel dictatorship. Today, the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations is sending a strong message of condemnation of the regime’s repressive tactics and in support of Cuba’s freedom fighters.”

“While the world is dealing with a global pandemic, the Cuban government continues to harass and jail its own people whose only crime is to want a more open nation,” said Durbin. “I met recently with Cuban Ambassador Cabanas to press for Mr. Ferrer’s immediate release and am glad the Foreign Relations Committee advanced the resolution I sponsored with my colleagues calling for the same.” 

“It’s long past time for the Cuban regime to release Jose Daniel Ferrer from his unjust captivity. In April, Jose was consigned to house arrest after unjust imprisonment,” said Cruz. “The United States and the international community has not and will not forget Jose Daniel, and will continue to pressure Miguel Díaz-Canel and Raul Castro until they release him.”

“I’m pleased to see this resolution advance, as we must continue to support democratic activists and political dissidents all around the world and especially in Cuba. The Cuban people desire the freedom of expression and of political assembly,” said Cardin.

“José Daniel Ferrer is a committed and outspoken advocate for democracy who has repeatedly risked his liberty and his life in order to promote freedom for his fellow Cubans,” said Collins.  “His arbitrary imprisonment and mistreatment at the hands of Cuban authorities are egregious violations of human rights.  Our bipartisan resolution expresses the Senate’s solidarity with Mr. Ferrer’s courageous fight for democratic principles, condemns the unjust actions of Cuban authorities, and calls for his immediate and unconditional release.”

The resolution can be found HERE.


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