Washington D.C., March 30, 2023 – Three activists from Cuba: Alain Espinosa, lawyer of the organization Cubalex; Frisia Batista, coordinator of the Women’s Network of Cuba; and Darcy Borrero, member of the working group Justice 11J, were from March 16 to 21 in the cities of Geneva, Switzerland, and Brussels, Belgium, denouncing the human rights violations registered on the Island, especially after the peaceful protests of July 2021, also known as 11J.
With the support of the International Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights (Race and Equality), Alain, Frisia and Darcy met with representatives of the United Nations, the European Union and civil society organizations in Europe, with whom they discussed the increase in cases of femicide, the lack of a comprehensive law against gender violence, the recommendations of the 2018 Universal Periodic Review that were not complied with by the Cuban State, the migratory crisis, food shortages, internet cuts, repression of human rights defenders, short-term forced disappearances, and persons deprived of liberty for political reasons on the Island.
“Making the human rights situation visible before these bodies is of crucial importance in the search for effective mechanisms to demand compliance with the obligations of the Cuban government, and to guarantee respect for the individual freedoms of its citizens,” Espinosa affirms.
The Coordinator of the Cuban Women’s Network, for her part, assures that the organization she represents made a request for recommendations to the international community at the United Nations and the European Parliament, so that the Cuban State approves soon a Law against gender violence. “This rank of law would create the basis to implement an integral system of prevention and attention that is really effective for the citizenship”, adds Batista.
During the meetings held in both cities, the activists also referred to the more than 1,800 people who have been detained since the 11J protests. Of this number, according to Barrero, more than 600 Cubans are still in prison. “It is important that in Europe and in any other part of the world it is known that there are human rights defenders who are aware of the situation of political prisoners in Cuba, and that this reality is put on the agenda,” says the member of the Justice 11J working group.
With the denunciations made in Europe, we call on the international community to demand that the State of Cuba recognize the fundamental rights of each and every person residing on the island, regardless of their political position, religious beliefs, skin color, sexual orientation, and gender identity. Race and Equality will continue to promote actions to denounce human rights violations on the island and to improve the living conditions of Cubans.