About a hundred Cubans gathered today in front of the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva to ask the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, for a “humanitarian intervention” in their country.
The Cubans, residents of Switzerland and other neighboring European countries, chanted phrases such as “fatherland and life” or “down with communism,” and read a letter to Bachelet in which they underlined the extreme situation the island is going through.
Among the participants were members of the Association for Democracy in Cuba (ADC), which has held several rallies in front of the United Nations since protests began on the island last July 11.
“We demand an intervention given the medical crisis that the Cuban people are suffering due to the government’s negligence, which uses the evolution of COVID as a mechanism of repression,” biologist Ariel Ruíz Urquiola, one of the participants in the protest, told Efe.
Ruíz also criticized the dictatorship of Miguel Díaz-Canel for not having signed up to the COVAX vaccine distribution program, organized by the United Nations, “placing all its confidence in vaccine candidates (developed on the island) not yet approved by the World Health Organization”.
He denounced that of the 8.5 billion dollars that the Cuban dictatorship receives per year for the deployment of its doctors in other countries, “only 1% is reinvested in Cuban public health.”
“With 0.4 % of that money they could have paid for enough doses to vaccinate the 11 million Cubans, and yet they rejected it” alleging the high price of vaccines, the biologist affirmed.
Oristel Hernández, another Cuban resident in Switzerland who participated in today’s event, assured that the protests inside and outside the island show that “the social pact has been broken and fear has been lost despite the government’s manipulation and increased repression.”
“We cannot remain silent and continue to be accomplices of so many human rights violations”, added the also ADC member.