There were mass protests in all the major Cuban cities, protests in the capital Havana can be seen here. Numerous demonstrators were abducted or arrested. The chairman of the UNPACU civil rights movement, Daniel Ferrer, who took part in the protests in Santiago de Cuba, has been missing since Sunday night.

Germany should show solidarity with the democracy movement

ISHR: Cubans want end of dictatorship and police state – Demonstrators abducted and arrested

Havana / Santiago de Cuba / Frankfurt am Main, July 12, 2021 – The nationwide protests show that Cuba’s population joins the democracy movement and the creative resistance of artists. Numerous demonstration participants were abducted or arrested. Among others, the chairman of the civil rights movement UNPACU, Daniel Ferrer, who had participated in the protests in Santiago de Cuba, has been missing since Sunday night. Germany must now show its solidarity with the democracy movement, says the International Society for Human Rights (ISHR).

“The totalitarian rule of the Communist Party, which has ruled alone for 61 years, is no longer accepted by Cubans. Poverty reduction, medical care and personal freedom are important to the people, not a socialist state. The Castrist leadership around Diaz-Canel must recognize this. There must be no excesses of violence now. The abuse of the Cuban police for the suppression of the people must be terminated”, explains Martin Lessenthin, speaker of the board of the ISHR.

The ISHR, which has a section in Cuba, is aware of 152 political prisoners. Most of them belong to the democracy movement and regime-critical artist groups or were active as regime-critical journalists. During yesterday’s protests in at least 14 cities, thousands of Cubans protested for an end to the dictatorship, and numerous people were arrested. More exact numbers are not yet known due to blocked Internet access in parts of Cuba. The ISHR therefore fears dozens more political prisoners. President Díaz-Canel threatened the demonstrators with violence in a speech in which he called on the “revolutionaries” – meaning violent rolling squads – to take to the streets and protect the revolution.

Cubans protested in front of the Cuban embassy in Pankow (Germany) on July 12th. With ISHR board member Michael Leh (in the middle next to Maria del Carmen Ares Marrero). Image: ISHR