U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesperson
February 10, 2014
STATEMENT BY MARIE HARF, DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON
Detentions of Activists in Cuba
We are deeply concerned about the recent increase in arbitrary detentions, physical violence, and other abusive actions carried out by the Cuban Government against peaceful human and civil rights advocates. This past week saw the detention of Jorge Luis Garcia Perez, also known as “Antunez,” and the reprehensible behavior apparently meted out by state security to his wife, Yris Perez Aguilera. These are but the latest examples of Cuban Government harassment against the Government’s critics.
Freedoms of expression and assembly are internationally recognized human rights, and the Cuban Government remains the outlier in the Western Hemisphere with its lack of respect for these rights. We condemn the Cuban Government’s continued harassment and repeated use of arbitrary detention, at times with violence, to silence critics, disrupt peaceful assembly, and intimidate independent civil society. We urge the Government of Cuba to end the practice of arbitrary detentions and to allow Cuban citizens to express their opinions freely and to assemble peacefully.