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Menendez Statement on Cuban Independence Day

WASHINGTON, DC -- U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement on Cuban Independence Day: 

“Today marks the 111th Anniversary of Cuba’s independence from Spain but, sadly, Cubans in Cuba are not free.  The people of Cuba are not free to assemble peacefully without facing repression at the hands of the Castro regime.  They are not free to speak their minds without fear of incarceration. They are not free to claim their future at the ballot box.  On this day,  I stand with my Cuban brothers and sisters that long for the return of freedom, independence and democracy to their country. 

It has been a great pleasure in recent months to meet with a number of brave human rights defenders from Cuba who yearn for real political and economic change on the island.  Today, I commend them and Cuba’s growing opposition movement, which fights daily for their basic rights at great personal risk.” 

In recent months, Chairman Menendez has met with Berta Soler, the President of Damas de Blanco, Yoani Sanchez, founder of the blog Generation Y, and Rosa Maria Payá, daughter of the late Oswaldo Payá, founder of the Varela Project.