A compilation of some of Cuba's most renowned democracy leaders by the University of Miami's Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies (ICCAS).
Note the overwhelming trend in support of U.S. sanctions.
Berta Soler, leader of The Ladies in White:
“The position of the Ladies in White is that it should be strengthened. No oxygen to the Cuban government, no diplomatic overtures, because this will not benefit the people of Cuba. When there was a socialist bloc and the Soviet Union, rather than evolving we regressed. What the Cuban government wants is to buy time to stay in power.”
Jorge Luís García Pérez “Antúnez”, leader of the Orlando Zapata Tamayo National Resistance Front:
“We condemn the measures taken by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other initiatives, which motivated by spurious economic interests, impede the efforts of the Cuban people to achieve their freedom. Instead of foreign investment with the dictatorship that represses the Cuban people, what we need is for the free world -- and most importantly Cubans in exile -- to support the efforts of the civil resistance.”
Antonio Rodiles, “Estado de SATS” director:
“It is shameful to witness this anti-embargo onslaught associated with or in support political actors inside and outside of Cuba. Fundamental freedoms have never come out of complacency from the torturers; those who are afraid today because time is running out must hear direct words and understand that respect for the rights and freedoms of its citizens are the premise.”
Rosa Maria Payá, daughter of the late Oswaldo Payá leader of the Christian Liberation Movement:
“Lifting the embargo is not the solution because it’s not the reason for our lack of economic and human rights. I support coherent conversations but negotiations should not reward the military elite in Havana that imposes its agenda on the Cuban people, promotes intolerance and hostility with absolute impunity.”
José Daniel Ferrer, executive secretary of Cuba’s Patriotic Union:
“Any diplomatic approach or any issue between any free country in the world and Cuba must bear in mind our situation regarding human rights. The Castro regime is a flagrant and contumacious violator of human rights. The regime is doomed, thus overtures from people or institutions searching for economic opportunities in Cuba are wrong.”
Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet, president of the Lawton Foundation and Emilia Project:
“It’s a shame that such famous newspapers like The New York Times lends itself to the lies of the Castro regime and promotes loosening restrictions of a brutal dictatorship.”
Guillermo Fariñas, Cuban dissident:
“It would be a mistake to unilaterally lift travel restrictions because it would be a source of money for a government that is desperate to obtain dollars to continue controlling the country since Venezuela is not doing so well.”
Manuel Cuesta Morúa, secretary general of Partido Arco Progresista de Cuba:
“The embargo is a political instrument seeking to achieve political objectives from a perspective. When a political instrument moves away from the essence of the scenario it builds from, it becomes irrelevant, and that is what has happened to the embargo, the Cuban government has been able to manipulate it.”
Yoani Sánchez, Cuban blogger:
“The Cuban government exaggerates the embargo’s importance. When I go to the store I find many products made in the U.S. This shows that the economic impact is minor. Instead it has become an argument for the Cuban government to justify the economic disaster and lack of freedom.”
René Gómez Manzano, Cuban independent lawyer and journalist:
“It would be a mistake to lift the embargo without Cuba agreeing to respect human rights. Any negotiation that does not ensure respect of human rights will only hurt Cubans and the U.S. as well. If the United States provides Cuba with credits, the American tax payers will be the ones sustaining the Castro regime.”
Laritza Diversent, Cuban independent lawyer and blogger:
“Lifting the embargo will make things clear- political repression will not cease and it will show that repression is not exclusively against dissidents. It’s against the whole country.”
Juan Carlos Gonzalez, Cuban blind dissident:
“If you end the embargo now like The New York Times wants, Cuba will have 50 more years of misery, 50 more years of state criminality and 50 more years of torture.”
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