391 Cuban Human Rights Defenders in Open Letter to Margot Wallström

In June, 391 Cuban human rights activists wrote an open letter to show their support regarding the Swedish government’s decision to not ratify the criticised cooperation agreement between Cuba and EU. However, the Swedish government has now proposed a ratification of the agreement again – without any changes. 

The Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and Cuba, negotiated between 2014 and 2016 and without any civil society insight, gives the Cuban government a range of trade and foreign aid benefits. EU and Cuba signed the agreement in 2016, but all individual member states still need to ratify before it applies.

In June this year, the Swedish government decided to withdraw their proposal to ratify the deal. This decision was met by strong support from Cuban human rights defenders and democracy activists. In an open letter to Sweden’s former Minister for Foreign Affairs, Margot Wallström, 391 Cuban human rights defenders signed a letter in support of the government’s decision.

However, the Swedish government has now, once again, proposed a ratification of the agreement to the Swedish Parliament. There are no changes in the proposed agreement, of which Civil Rights Defenders remains highly critical. The question we now ask is: which side is the Swedish government and parliament on – the Cuban human rights defenders’ or the Cuban government’s?

Read the letter in full here:

Open Letter

Havana, August 26, 2019

Your excellency Ms. Margot Elisabeth Wallström, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Sweden

The government of Sweden decided on 12 June to not ratify the Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement, promoted by the European Union with the government of Cuba.

The signatories below, as citizens and civil society activists, support that critical decision of your government. The Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement, signed in November 2016 and that includes a dialogue in relation to human rights, must be something more than a gesture of willingness to sign pacts and agreements, and become a gesture of will to behave in accordance with their spirit and nature.

Since 2016, the behavior of the Cuban government regarding human rights has only worsened. Arbitrary detentions; violence against civil society actors, essentially within arts and culture which includes gender-based violence against civically proactive citizens; physical and psychological torture; punishment of entrepreneurs within the private sector and against workers who express social concerns, have become the daily practice of state officials at all levels and in all areas. In spite of the fact that the Cuban government is a signatory of the United Nations Convention against Torture and several important agreements of the International Labor Organization.

The latest public events that demonstrate this willingness to effectively deny the spirit of the Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement have been the repression against particularly vulnerable communities such as the LGBTI+ –community, and the prohibition of Cuban citizens from traveling, both within Cuba and abroad, under the new illegal category “Regulated”.

Several events are particularly sensitive: the sacking of Professor Omara Ruiz Urquiola for political reasons from the Higher Institute of Industrial Design – a practice systematically used against professionals, academics and journalists–; the hunger strike by religious activist and independent journalist Guillermo del Sol Pérez, calling for international attention and the attention of the Cuban government to the clear violations of Article 52 of the Cuban Constitution that recognizes the right of Cuban citizens to freedom of movement; the recent prison sentence against independent journalist Roberto Quiñones Haces; the conviction and imprisonment of rapper Maykel Castillo Pérez and the existence of more than 130 political prisoners in Cuban prisons.

All this, that violate the laws and the constitution, demonstrates that the Cuban government is not prepared to respect the international treaties and agreements that it has signed, nor the internal legal system itself, that recognizes and protects the exercise of certain rights. The newly approved Constitution that entered into force on April 10 clearly establishes and recognizes a series of constitutional rights and guarantees, that could and should be respected by the Cuban authorities.

The signatories behind this Open Letter do not oppose, in principle, dialogue and cooperation with the government and people of Cuba. On the contrary, we believe in the virtues of dialogue as a concept, approach and strategy. We note, however, that strategic agreements cannot be reached with governments that do not seriously respect their international commitments or their own rules of coexistence established by themselves, many of which are imposed avoiding the consensus of the citizens.

Identifying ourselves with the foreign policy you have defined as Drive for Democracy, we believe that the ratification of the Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and Cuba must take place on the basis of:

The expressed commitment by the Cuban government to respect the rights and guarantees contained in the newly approved Constitution.

The cessation of harassment and repression against proactive citizens in the Cuban civil society.

The end of the hate crime machinery being built up within sectors of the Cuban society, where officials of the highest ranks of the State participate, which has manifested itself in particular against women in civil society.

The release of unjustly incarcerated prisoners, often allegedly responsible for political crimes or for using their freedom of expression, including freedom of artistic expression.

The gradual construction of a human rights dialogue between Cubans and,

The ratification of the International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights, and on Social, Economic and Cultural rights, signed by the previous Cuban government in 2008.

We know that a new round of dialogue between civil society organisations of the European Union and Cuban civil society organisations will take place next October. This would be a good opportunity for European civil society organisations that wish to meet with organisations of independent Cuban civil society in all its diversity. That would be a sign that the European dialogue is also a dialogue with the entire Cuban people.

Finally, we ask your government to support the invitation, signed so far by more than 1 500 Cuban citizens representing the most diverse sectors of society, to Michelle Bachelet so that she, in her capacity as High Commissioner for Human Rights of the United Nations, visits our country and freely meet with Cuban authorities and citizens.

With the testimony of our highest consideration, we sign this Open Letter:

  1. Félix Navarro Rodríguez – President of the Party for Democracy Pedro Luis Boitel Abraham
  2. Omara Ruiz Urquiola – Activist and teacher
  3. Ariel Ruiz Urquiola – Activist and biologist
  4. Amaury Pacheco del Monte – Artist, San Isidro Movement
  5. Iris Ruiz Hernández – Actress, San Isidro Movement
  6. Juan Carlos Linares BalmasedaInclusive Culture
  7. —Odalina Guerrero LaraNetwork – Independent lawyer
  8. Julio César Figueredo Licea —Activist
  9. Oscar Casanella Saint-Blancard —Activist and biologist
  10. Jorge Enrique – Poet and independent journalist
  11. Boris González Arenas – Historian and journalist
  12. Iliana Hernández Cardoso —Activist and freelance journalist
  13. Roberto de Jesús Quiñones Haces —Lawyer and freelance journalist
  14. Sayli Navarro Álvarez —Dama de Blanco, CubaDecide activist
  15. María M Benítez Rodríguez —COPE National Coordinator
  16. María E. Mir Marrero —Coordinator a RELLIC National
  17. Eralidis Frometa Polanco – Executive Secretary of Organization DELIBERA
  18. Zuleydis Pérez Velázquez —RELLIC National Coordinator
  19. Johana Formigo Galeano
  20. Niurka Carmona Carmona —Vice COPE Coordinator
  21. Yamilka Abascal Sánchez
  22. Elsa Litsy Isacc Reyes
  23. Yanet Díaz Santiago
  24. David Escalona Carrillo (David D’Omni) —Artist
  25. Enix Berrios Sardá — Speaker of the Democratic Action Unit
  26. Juan Alberto de la Nuez Ramírez —President of the Citizen Movement for Reflection and Reconciliation.
  27. José Díaz Silva —President Movement Opponents for a New Republic
  28. Lázaro Yuri Valle Roca – Coordinator Organization DELIBERA
  29. Dariem Columbié Grave de Peralta —National Coordinator Platform #Otro18
  30. Yaima Herrera Jiménez — Human Project Lázaro Eni
  31. Manuel Cuesta Morúa — Progressive Arch
  32. Osmay Vázquez Aranda
  33. Rolando Juseff Pérez Morena
  34. Roberto Jiménez Gutiérrez -Movement Cuba Unida Juventud Activa
  35. Victor Manuel Domínguez García -Writer and independent journalist
  36. Juan Adonis Valdes Maseda -Actor and activist
  37. Francisco Rangel Manzano
  38. Rosabal Kendra Dominguez
  39. Kenisleydis Hernández Dominguez
  40. Misleydis Lazo Trujillo
  41. Katia Hernández Torres
  42. Barbaro de la Nuez Ramirez
  43. Alvaro de la Nuez Pis
  44. Yasmany de la Nuez Veitía
  45. Severiano Ramírez Díaz
  46. Pedro Ramírez Díaz
  47. Miguel Coba García
  48. Tomás Álvarez García
  49. Wilfredo Álvarez García
  50. Juan Carlos Villegas Amador
  51. Juan Valencia Rodríguez del Rey
  52. Yoel Ramírez Peña
  53. Alejandro Morales Alonso
  54. Yosvany Soc arras González
  55. Jesús Catalino Morejón Díaz
  56. Dayanti Morejón Loriga
  57. Soraya Quijano Silva
  58. Yerdlim Vera Perdomo
  59. Doraisa Correoso Pozo
  60. Yadira Frontella Bacallao
  61. Jesús Miguel Jiménez Zayas
  62. Orlando Delgado Delgado
  63. Pedro Larena and Valles
  64. Yoslovy Piñol Morfa
  65. Frank O. Deroncele Correoso
  66. Ramón Rafael González Pentón
  67. Eduad Blanco Luis
  68. Yasiel González Quijano
  69. Isel Ramírez Ledesma
  70. Nordelys González Ruiz
  71. Adrian Rodríguez Morera
  72. Salvador Correoso Martínez
  73. Nancy Morera Violat
  74. Adiel Rodríguez González
  75. Rancer Domínguez Rodríguez
  76. José Ramón López Rivera
  77. Vizmayka Amelo Jardines
  78. Alcibiades Urizuela Angulo
  79. Joel Díaz Hernández
  80. Maykel Peña Blanco
  81. Odalys Castle Cosme
  82. Marlenis Medina Gutiérrez
  83. María Elena
  84. Naples Naples Cortón
  85. Carlos Manuel Collazo Ojeda
  86. Marcelino Velázquez García
  87. Yanier Polished Frontella
  88. Vladimir Trejo González
  89. Ariel Roja Miro
  90. Yahima Rubio Fabré
  91. Osvany Roche Rodríguez
  92. Dalia Ayala Rodríguez
  93. Junior Camejo Hernández
  94. Andry Noel Tamayo
  95. Rinaldo Cortón Viskay
  96. Oricel Gala Ramos
  97. Maricel Talles Saldinas
  98. Yamarilis Potrie Correoso
  99. María Eugenia C. Correoso Martínez
  100. Isabel Nuñez Taboada
  101. Yasmany Vázquez Morales
  102. Irina Charity León Valladares
  103. Lisandra Orraca Guerra
  104. Ariel González Cuevas
  105. Andrés N. Correoso Well
  106. Juan Pablo Correoso Well
  107. Andrés N. Correoso Sánchez
  108. Diorlis Sánchez Telles
  109. Rosa G. Delegate
  110. Ana Margarita Mulet Hernández
  111. Yoel Alberto Romero Rivera
  112. Danaisy Muñoz López
  113. Guillermo Labiste Espinoza
  114. Rosaida González Escalona
  115. Julio César Morales González
  116. Rodolfo Cruz Regalado
  117. Roberto Rodríguez Urra
  118. Cirilo Quiñones López
  119. Geile Quintero Sánchez
  120. Armando Moreira Rodríguez
  121. Juan de la Nuez Sosa
  122. Yokendri Rico Arrean
  123. Yasniel Golán Núñez
  124. Kirenia Céspedes Pérez
  125. Juan Fortines Pérez
  126. Ernesto Cabrera Fernández
  127. Irisley Engroba González
  128. Roberto González Fair
  129. Roberto Perdomo Fuentes
  130. Joan Fuentes Arias
  131. Saúl López Almarales
  132. Carlos Contreras Rondón
  133. José Antonio Mateo Díaz
  134. Mariana de los Angeles Aranda Mato
  135. Gabriel Ernesto Torres Vázquez
  136. Yamilay Moya Aranda
  137. Agustín Alonso Stop
  138. Roilan Álvarez Rendoler
  139. Maylin Alonso Pérez
  140. Lucy Morales Miralles
  141. Josselin Rodríguez Díaz
  142. Ángel Mario Peña Arias
  143. Felipe Hernández Chacón
  144. Jorge Carlos Frometa Matos
  145. José Manuel García Rivero
  146. Alex Pérez Rondón
  147. Ezequiel Ávila López
  148. José Luis Quesada Ríos
  149. Pedro Figueredo Guerra
  150. Yunaisy Carracedo Milanés
  151. Pedro Mulen de la Cruz
  152. Amador Blanco Hernández
  153. Norberto Mesa Carbonell
  154. Pedro Francisco Villafaña
  155. Lemis Tarajano
  156. Milagros Garmendias Murt
  157. Luis Jaime Meriño
  158. Luis Enrique Guerrero Pérez
  159. Desideria Idalgis Prieto Lachel
  160. Rosaida González Escalona
  161. Manuel Alexander Pérez Velázquez
  162. Virginia Velázquez Toledo
  163. Luis Manuel Fuentes Chacón
  164. Daymara Felipe López
  165. Sandra Rizo González
  166. Sadelis Domínguez Rizo
  167. Oscar Luis Milian Reinoso
  168. Juana Ruiz Aparicio
  169. Nairobis Schery Suárez
  170. Yanisledys Sanamé Suárez
  171. Fabian Pedroso Moreira
  172. Laritza Galeano Ferrer
  173. Roberto Formigo Ortiz
  174. Miladis Ferrer Estrada
  175. María Ortiz Jullian
  176. Claudia Ro dríguez Leliebre
  177. Annia Beatriz Place Medina
  178. Jean Paul Bermúdez Salina
  179. Miguel Antonio Calderin Ortiz
  180. Salvelio Validity Ortiz
  181. Eliecer Reconso Fernández
  182. Magda Onelvis Mendoza Díaz
  183. Isabel Naranjo L’O
  184. Luisa Cuenca Benavidez
  185. Reina González Batista
  186. Andrés Reyes Tejadilla
  187. Osmar de Jesús Pérez Pujada
  188. René Guzmán Bonilla
  189. Dania González Gutiérrez
  190. Yarisleydis Batista González
  191. Ileana Torres Fuentes
  192. Onelis Calderin Alvarades
  193. Michael Bejerano Martínez
  194. Lester Villar López
  195. Simona López Guzmán
  196. Diosdado Graverán Osorio
  197. Rafael Rosales Sánchez
  198. Leonardo Valdés Noroña
  199. Carmen Luisa Ricardo Acosta
  200. Alexis García Barceló
  201. William Miranda Martínez
  202. Rolando Díaz Silva
  203. Mario Alberto Hernández Leyva
  204. Wibel Acevedo Cobas
  205. Humberto Michael González Zamora
  206. Adrian Curenea Steven
  207. Carlos Tamayo Frías
  208. Olga Herrera Díaz
  209. Leandro Fidalgo Pupo
  210. Ángel Castro Carrera
  211. Justo Antonio Paz Domínguez
  212. Dainellys Esteban Ramírez
  213. Nancy Quiñones Gonzales
  214. Alexus Rosell Lafita
  215. Yassire Veitia Quiñones
  216. Yunisleivys Borrero Fernández
  217. Naidel Pupo Quiñones
  218. Lázaro Antonio Pérez González
  219. Ordelis Manuel González Yanez
  220. Pedro Wenceslao La Huardoa Arteaga
  221. Yoel Arteaga Neck
  222. Ernesto Leonardo Soler Nieves
  223. Dunia Díaz Vila
  224. Osmany Acosta Patiño
  225. Jorge González González
  226. Mercedes Galán Isaac BarLe
  227. Julio César Salgado Rosillo
  228. Luis Jesús Gutiérrez Campos
  229. Abel Boroto Roca
  230. Roberto Lázaro Bareta Rubalcaba
  231. Manuel Velázquez Licea
  232. Alcibiades Idelmaro Brizuela Angulo
  233. Radamé Reina Echavarría
  234. Osmar Ochoa Contrera
  235. Luis Enrique Tamayo Mendoza
  236. Juventino Díaz Suárez
  237. Manuela de Moya Paredes
  238. Daisy Aranda Reyes
  239. Carlos Reina Maceo
  240. Julio Ernesto Suárez Moreno
  241. Raide Dinza Pérez
  242. Caridad María
  243. Buranete GómezBurma
  244. CarlosMartínez
  245. Félix Pérez Palenzuela
  246. Divaldo Valcarcel González
  247. Reinaldo Batista Castellanos
  248. Zenén Daniel Cruz
  249. Lázara Rodríguez Roteta
  250. Mayra García Álvarez
  251. Jorge Luis Aveleira Rodríguez
  252. Julia Silvia González Fundora
  253. Rogelio Aragón Duke
  254. Aloy Betancourt Mé ndez
  255. Annia Zamora Carmenate
  256. Fidel Morejon Delgado
  257. Aleida Cofiño Rivera
  258. Jose Antonio del Cueto Carreño
  259. Leylandis Bridges Barba
  260. Alain Virgilio Bridges Barba
  261. Gilberto Santana Martinez
  262. Roberto Ascencio López Ramos
  263. José Marcelino Ferrera Riverón
  264. José Ferrera Vázquez
  265. Onelio Mesa Noda
  266. Osniel Carmona Beijo
  267. Mirna Dominguez Sanchez
  268. Maykel Hernandez Salazar
  269. Michel Valladares Cala
  270. Yusniel Pupo Carralero
  271. Reinaldo Corton Vizkay
  272. MariselTellezSaldinas
  273. VazquezPupoZaray
  274. Iyolexsi Despaigne Poey
  275. ZaidariPontes Muñoz
  276. Dualsis D.DiazVazquez
  277. Alexander Fernandez Ramirez
  278. Maria del Carmen AguileraCala
  279. Juan Miguel AriasCala
  280. Cristian Hernandez Hernandez
  281. UlicerRafael Hernández López
  282. González Forteza Elisbel
  283. Justo Javier Sánchez Izquierdo
  284. Gabriela Viciedo Valle
  285. Carlos Rodríguez Becerra
  286. Pedro Rodríguez Cuba
  287. Michel Piñeiro Hernández
  288. Midaysi Marrero Gil
  289. Pedro Luis Ortiz Ramírez
  290. Luisa María Ramírez Gil
  291. Victoria Mercedes Lorenzo Rodríguez
  292. Edis Rosa Reina
  293. Rolando Ruiz Mira
  294. Jorge Luis Rodríguez Abreu
  295. Celso Luis Díaz Morales
  296. Jorge Luis Castellanos Dominguez
  297. Pedro Peña Miras
  298. Joan Javier Almaguer Laguna
  299. Alexis Díaz Ortega
  300. Maikel Escobar Ceballos
  301. Evis Yuneiy García Coto
  302. Ordelis Manuel González LLanes
  303. Maidelys Lobaina Morgado
  304. Wilber Acevedo Cobas
  305. Alexander Martínez Sucen
  306. Jorge González González
  307. Luis Armando Malvares Sánchez
  308. Donel Baños Sotolongo
  309. Juan Carlos Diaz Fonseca
  310. Yorka Torres Saura
  311. Alberto Perdomo Vazquez
  312. Yunith Blanco Fernández
  313. Rolando López Quiñones
  314. Manuel Santana Vega
  315. Alberto Prieto Estrada
  316. Olianis Hernandez Ortega
  317. William Nelson Morgado Amador
  318. Victor Vicente Arcia Suarez
  319. Eduardo Caballero Quesada
  320. Jorge Fernández Mora
  321. Felix Orsidio Navarro Zerguera
  322. Dionalda Vaillan del Toro
  323. Jorge Muise Mexico Perdomo
  324. Joel Hernández Fernández
  325. Dagoberto Hernández Fernández
  326. Mario Castellanos Frías
  327. Juan Ramón Rondón Hechavarria
  328. Ismael Santiago Leme
  329. Yamilay de Moya Paredes
  330. Alfredo Ochoa Vázquez
  331. Yoenis Chacón Matos
  332. Israel Perdomo Fuentes
  333. Maykel Os orio Díaz
  334. Ernesto Torres Villanueva
  335. Alberto Sosa Sánchez
  336. Juan Antonio de la Nuez Sosa
  337. Eugenia Ramírez Díaz
  338. Rule Mercedes Baro Ramírez
  339. Neri Baro Ramírez
  340. Leonor Veitía Morales
  341. José Veitía Morales
  342. Daniel Méndez Alba
  343. Antina Ramírez Díaz
  344. Ismael Ramírez Díaz
  345. Rey Morfa Fuentes
  346. Fidel Morfa Fuentes
  347. Emilio Quevedo de la Nuez
  348. Víctor Quevedo de la Nuez
  349. Mabel Martínez Martínez
  350. Yurima Montalvo Cairo
  351. Kirenia Céspedes Pérez
  352. Pedro Montalvo Barceló
  353. Leidy Laura Valdés Martínez
  354. Armando Abascal Serrano[Textbrytning]
  355. Carlos Olivera Martínez[Textbrytning]
  356. Félix Pérez Palenzuela[Textbrytning]
  357. Orlando Rodríguez Rodríguez[Textbrytning]
  358. Jorge Luis Aveleira Rodríguez[Textbrytning]
  359. Zenén Daniel Cruz[Textbrytning]
  360. Reinaldo Batista Castellanos[Textbrytning]
  361. Fidel Morejón Delgado[Textbrytning]
  362. Norma Cabrera Valiente[Textbrytning]
  363. Lázara León Cabrera[Textbrytning]
  364. Orleydis González Ramírez[Textbrytning]
  365. Nancy Gutiérrez Toirac[Textbrytning]
  366. Israel Landín González[Textbrytning]
  367. Eladio Esteban Guerrero Pérez[Textbrytning]
  368. Mercedes Pérez Pérez Hernández[Textbrytning]
  369. Sonia Álvarez Campello[Textbrytning]
  370. Ricardo Santana Piloto;[Textbrytning]
  371. Irania Quintana Tab;[Textbrytning]
  372. Yosvani Martínez Vecino
  373. Alberto Sigler Estada
  374. Madelyn Torreblanca Sánchez
  375. Tereza Guerra Noguera
  376. Dayami Gómez Morell
  377. Mirella Sánchez Fiallo
  378. Yusleydy Romero Becerra coordinator Occidental province[Textbrytning]+ Women + Human Rights
  379. Zaray Fernández García
  380. Idisbel Silva Cepero
  381. Yarisbel Silva
  382. Lázara Sánchez Fiallo, Project Coordinator + Women + Human Rights
  383. Irel Gómez Moreira
  384. Zaray García Fernández Coordinator Province Central + Women + Human Rights
  385. Roxanne del Carmen Martínez Pérez Coordinator Eastern Provinces
  386. Jesús Silva Gala Coordinator Support Network Camagüey in Pinar del Río
  387. Oscar Milan Reinoso Coordinator Province Villa Clara[Textbrytning]Members of Villa Clara
  388. Jaime Castillo Jova
  389. Jesús Cruz Moreno ,
  390. Leandro González Castro
  391. Alberto Echevarría González
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