Below is a letter published in this weekend’s Miami Herald by FHRC Board Member Jorge Mas Santos. In the letter, Mr. Santos not only provides insight into the genesis of the Cuba Democracy program but also an ideal platform for discussion on why the program should not only be continued, but improved upon. Nonviolent human rights groups, such as the Ladies in White, have grown exponentially in both size and influence since their founding in 2003 during Cuba’s infamous “black spring” to the point that they now symbolize a growing nationwide movement by Cuban civil society to organize and demand basic human rights. We hope you will take a moment to read the entire letter. We also ask that you consider becoming active in encouraging Washington’s elected officials to reconsider a program which can effectively assist courageous groups such as The Ladies in White, UNPACU, and others, to continue their rapid growth and ultimately create a permanent change in Cuba’s closed society as well as a brighter, democratic landscape for the future.
Via: The Miami Herald
Published: February 22nd, 2014
During the confirmation hearings of Sen. John Kerry for secretary of state, Sen. Marco Rubio asked Kerry whether, if confirmed, he would continue his efforts to “halt the Cuba democracy programs” of the Agency for International Development (USAID).
According to the Congressional Record, Kerry’s answer was: “If confirmed I will continue U.S. policies that promote democracy, freedom of expression and assembly, and human rights in Cuba … The Cuban democracy programs are one element of the strategy to support these objectives.”