Congressional Calls for Ivonne Malleza's Release

Saturday, January 14, 2012
Members of Congress Demand Release of Cuban Pro-Democracy Leaders

Calls Arbitrary Detentions Appalling and Unjust

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, along with U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ), and Rep. David Rivera (R-FL), sent a bipartisan letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and to Amnesty International calling for the release of Ivonne Malleza Galano, Isabel Hayde Alvarez Mosqueda and Ignacio Martínez Montero. These Cuban pro-democracy leaders were imprisoned for peacefully protesting in Havana in November.

Ros-Lehtinen’s statement:

I call for the immediate and unconditional release of Ivonne Malleza Galano, Isabel Hayde Alvarez Mosqueda and Ignacio Martínez Montero. Once again, the Castro dictatorship arrested peaceful protesters without charging them or giving reasons for their continued incarceration.

This unjustified and unwarranted imprisonment of these peaceful dissidents is indicative of the Cuban regime’s blatant disregard for human rights and basic freedoms.

I urge that the Secretary of State, Amnesty International and other human rights organizations worldwide join the call for the immediate release of Ivonne Malleza Galano, Isabel Hayde Alvarez Mosqueda and Ignacio Martínez Montero. We must not allow their voices to be extinguished in the abyss of a Cuban prison cell
.”

Diaz-Balart's statement:

The imprisonment of Ladies in White member Ivonne Malleza Galano, her husband Ignacio Martínez Montejo, and pro-democracy activist Isabel Hayde Alvarez Mosqueda is another appalling reminder of the marked depravity of the Cuban regime. The United States and the international community should demonstrate unwavering solidarity with the Cuban people and they should show particular solidarity with these brave prisoners of conscience.

Despite escalating repression, the people of Cuba are showing an increasing tenacity in the face of tyranny. In fact, reportedly a crowd of observers to the protest in Havana intervened to try to prevent Castro’s thugs from arresting the activists. Now is the time to support Cuba’s growing freedom movement by calling attention to the injustice of their imprisonment and cutting off the Castro regime from any financial, rhetorical or moral support. The brave opposition deserves our unequivocal commendation for their struggle to secure basic freedoms, and they should have our committed refusal to bolster their oppressors with U.S. dollars and unilateral concessions. Certainly, the Cuban people deserve no less
.”

For a copy of the letter to the Secretary of State, please click here.

For a copy of the letter to Amnesty International, please click here.