The Assembly of the Cuban Resistance, which encompasses groups from outside and inside Cuba, wrote a letter to President Joe Biden asking him to put an end to the impunity that the Cuban regime has enjoyed, which in its opinion is “the main obstacle” to change on the island.
The letter was released on Wednesday accompanied by a statement that stressed that it “is signed by the same groups of Cubans and Cuban-Americans who were totally ignored in 2015 by the Obama/Biden Administration.”
“These groups were unaware of what was going on behind the curtain, that the United States was meeting privately, negotiating and making painful concessions, without guarantees, to Cuba’s criminal regime, all under the auspices of a false premise of change,” the signatories said of the “thaw” in bilateral relations pushed by now former Presidents Barack Obama and Raúl Castro.
According to the statement, the Assembly, a platform of almost 40 organizations from inside and outside the island, wants to take advantage of the fact that Biden, who was Vice President of the United States when this happened, has said he will listen to Cuban Americans, whom he has defined as “ambassadors for freedom,” when deciding his policy towards the island.
The letter asks Biden not to remove Cuba from the list of countries sponsoring terrorism, on which it was placed in 2020 by Donald Trump’s Administration, and not to fall into the temptation of merely “dealing with the symptoms of dictatorship.”
“While the temptation may be to deal with the symptoms of dictatorship, such as political prisoners and refugees, we urge him to address the causes of political, economic, cultural and social repression,” they stressed.
In the view of the signatories, “the main obstacle to change in Cuba would be not to stop the sense of impunity that the Communist dictatorship has always enjoyed, despite the numerous crimes against humanity it has committed,” they added.
Cuba on the terrorism list
It is because of the “record of atrocities perpetrated by the Cuban regime that we urge you, as representatives of a united community, to keep Cuba on the list of state sponsors of terrorism,” the letter argues.
The letter reviews the reasons for their request, beginning with the shooting down by Cuban “fighter planes” of two civilian planes belonging to the Brothers to the Rescue organization on February 24, 1996, which cost the lives of the four occupants.
“They were volunteer pilots and observers trying to save the lives of desperate refugees at sea who were trying to escape Communism in Cuba,” they wrote in the letter, before stressing that “to date Raul Castro and the other perpetrators of this brutal act remain unpunished.”
“The murder of political prisoners and dissidents, the openly violent persecution of civil society, and the repression of the most fundamental human rights and freedoms continue to be the pillars of the Cuban police state,” they asserted.
At the international level, the letter assured that the regime continues a “close alliance with state and non-state actors that sponsor terrorism, such as Venezuela, Syria, North Korea, Iran, as well as the FARC, ELN, Hezbollah and Mexican cartels.”
“It also maintains direct involvement in lethal repression in support of the dictatorial regimes in Venezuela and Nicaragua and facilitates through them various safe havens, weapons and political support to these narco-terrorist organizations for their criminal and illicit activities in the region,” he stressed.
Finally, “Cuba also protects dozens of fugitives from U.S. Justice”, but “the most worrisome has been the use of microwave pulse weapons used by the regime against U.S. and Canadian diplomats stationed in Havana causing, in some cases, irreparable physical damage.”
The letter concluded “Please let us know if we can be of assistance to you on matters related to Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua. Respectfully, Organizations of the Assembly of the Resistance.”