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Rosa María Payá denounced the “horrible repression” in Cuba before the US Senate committee

Cuban activist Rosa María Payá Acevedo denounced this Wednesday before the Foreign Relations Committee of the United States Senate the “horrible repression” that women in Cuba have been suffering.

However, despite this repression, Cuban women “have been the unstoppable force for freedom, not only caring for those who were previously in prison, but also promoting the cause of human rights,” said the activist.

She, in a sense, highlighted the work of the opposition group Ladies in White or activists such as the sisters Angélica and María Cristina Garrido, imprisoned for their participation in the anti-government demonstrations on July 11, 2021 (11J).

In the public hearing “Women leaders confronting authoritarianism”, Rosa María Payá presented the cases of the political prisoners of the Cuban regime Saylí Navarro and Aymara Nieto.

Navarro is serving an eight-year prison sentence for going to a police station to request information about the disappeared on 11J. While Nieto, mother of two little girls, has been serving political prison since 2018.

During her speech, Payá asked the United States government to demand the unconditional release of all political prisoners and an end to the repression.

The also coordinator of the citizen platform Cuba Decide, pointed out that the situation in Cuba is of interest to the United States due to the current migration crisis that the Island is going through; and she denounced that the Cuban regime is a threat to the continent, and should remain on the list of State sponsors of terrorism.

“It is imperative that you support the Cuban people’s struggle for freedom, because the victory of democracy in Cuba is essential to have possibilities for true peace, prosperity, justice and stability throughout the hemisphere,” she said.

Uyghur activist Jewher Ilham and Iranian journalist Roya Hakakian also spoke at the hearing.

Announcing her appearance before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, chaired by Cuban-American Democratic Senator Bob Menéndez, Rosa María Payá had stated: “The cause of freedom in Cuba and in the region has the face of a woman. Today I will have the honor of testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about our fight against totalitarianism in Cuba and for democracy in the Americas.”

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José Martí
José Martí
Nacionalista cubano, poeta, filósofo, ensayista, periodista, traductor, profesor y editor.

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