U.S. Threatens Sanctions If Cuba Prosecutes Promoters of Civic March
EFEWashington22 Oct. 2021
File photo in which the U.S. government's top adviser for Latin America, Juan González, was registered, who warned that his country will respond, possibly with sanctions, if the "fundamental rights" of the Cuban people are "violated" or the promoters of the opposition civic march called for November 15 are prosecuted. EFE/Raul Martinez
The United States warned Friday that it will respond, possibly with sanctions, if the "fundamental rights" of the Cuban people are "violated" or the promoters of the opposition civic march called for November 15 in Cuba are prosecuted.
This was indicated in an interview with Efe Juan González, the main adviser for Latin America of the US president, Joe Biden, after the Cuban Prosecutor's Office threatened to charge crimes to the conveners of that opposition march in case they carry it out.
"Those individuals who are involved in violating the fundamental and universal rights of the Cuban people, is something to which we have made it very clear that we have every intention of responding," González said by telephone.
Biden's adviser thus responded to the question of whether Washington will sanction Cuban officials in case the organizers of the November march end up prosecuted or imprisoned for keeping that peaceful demonstration standing, an initiative unprecedented in 60 years.
The Cuban government has denied permission to hold that march, which it considers "illegal," and on Thursday the Provincial Prosecutor's Office of Havana said that if the conveners maintain their plan, they could incur crimes punishable by economic sanctions and deprivation of liberty from three months to a year.
In a challenge to the government, activists announced last week that they would keep calling for their peaceful march, which aims to call for respect for the rights and release of political prisoners, among other issues.
The United States has sharply criticized the Cuban government's decision to prevent the protest from taking place, and González said Friday that the island's leaders are "afraid to have a national conversation with the Cuban people."
"Threatening peaceful protesters shows that you have lost the will and support of the people," Biden's adviser said.
"The future of Cuba will not be determined from Washington, (but) we are fully committed to supporting, supporting and strengthening the voice of the Cuban people who want change," he said.
González also spoke of the hardest line he has taken towards Cuba Biden, who has sanctioned senior military officials on the island for their alleged role in the repression of the protests of July 11 and has avoided following the path of the thaw that marked former President Barack Obama (2009-2017).
"What we have to recognize is that there was a world before July 11 and another after, where the regime took off its mask in repressive acts against the people," the official said.
Unlike during the so-called "maleconazo" of 1994, what happened in July in the protests in Cuba "is now being seen by the world," and "the people who are sacrificing their lives, their rights" want "to be seen, and to be defended," he added.
"We are committed to that, and we do not see that as a hard line, but it is a commitment in favor of the fundamental rights of Cubans," González said.
The adviser did not want to comment on Biden's position on the U.S. embargo on Cuba, stating that this is "an issue of the United States Congress," which is the one that has the ability to lift it.
If he wanted to, Biden could urge Congress to lift the embargo, as Obama did in his second term, but his administration chose this year to defend it during the annual vote at the UN on a resolution condemning that US measure, by voting against the text.
Yunior Garcia's Personal Agenda is Regime Change
In the year 2022, the country of our birth will mark 70 years without democracy. My parents have never been able to freely choose their ideology, their party, or their president. They have had to resign themselves to the decisions of others and have had to ratify those decisions to avoid trouble. In Cuba, unfortunately, to keep quiet about what we really think is seen by many as a sign of intelligence. They always ask us to wait for the right “time” and “place” which never really come. ....
It is true that there were some achievements and wins it’s not all gloom and doom. But what good are benefits if they will be used to blackmail me later? What is the value of my education if I am later forbidden to think with my own mind? Many slaves also learned to read. And they did not pay with money for their little corner of the barracks or their lunch, they paid with obedience and the sweat of their backs. If any of them happened to demand a change of regime, the whip, the stocks and the shackle would certainly await them. ...
What they call “alliances” is nothing more than honest dialogue involving all Cubans, without discriminating against anyone. No regime will ever again tell us which Cuban we can or cannot talk with. We are not going to reproduce their scheme of prejudice, stigma and demonization. ...
On November 15 we will march without hatred. We are assuming a right that has never been respected in 62 years of dictatorship, but we are going to assume it with civility. Everyone will be looking towards Cuba that day. We know that the power structure plays dirty, that it gives combat orders against its own people, that it lies to our faces, that it would even be capable of infiltrating its paramilitaries into the march to generate violence and later blame it on us. Each citizen must be responsible for their conduct and defend the peaceful and firm attitude that we have called for.
November 15 can and should be a beautiful day. Wherever a Cuban lives, we know that his heart will be in Cuba. May the powerful not insist on behaving in a cowardly fashion against their own citizens. Do not repeat the crime of July 11. May officers and soldiers understand that there is no honor in obeying immoral orders. I also hope that no foreign power interferes in an issue that we ourselves must resolve with true sovereignty, that of citizens.
Denial of permit to demonstrate