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Cuba: reality in Cuba far from state propaganda on 'reforms' and 'changes'. Laima Andrikiene MEP


23 Jan 2012


Global Europe

Following the death of Wilman Villar Mendoza, a thirty one year-old Cuban political prisoner, in Juan Bruno Zayas Hospital in the city of Santiago de Cuba after fifty days on hunger strike, Laima Andrikiene MEP, Vice-Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Human Rights of the European Parliament, said: "The Cuban regime must release all political prisoners immediately. The persecution of people for their legitimate demands for freedom of speech, thought and assembly is unjust. Their lack of fundamental rights is not only in contradiction with the principles of humanity; it is a clear infringement of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, of which Cuba is also a signatory."

"It is with great sadness that I learned about the tragic death of Mr Mendoza, a young man who sacrificed his life fighting for human rights in Cuba. I send my sincere condolences to his family and his friends", said Laima Andrikiene MEP.

Almost two years ago, political prisoner Orlando Zapata Tamayo died in similar circumstances, also on hunger strike, with the same demands. Activist Juan Wilfredo Soto Garcia died last year after receiving a brutal beating from the political police at Leoncio Vidal Park, in the city of Santa Clara, Villa Clara province. Less than three months ago, Laura Pollan Toledo, Leader of the 'Damas de Blanco' (Ladies in White), died under mysterious circumstances that have still not been clarified. Numerous reports issued from within the island over the past three months have reported an increase of the regime's violence against the opposition, including cases of activists who have suffered fractured skulls with machetes, and the Damas de Blanco who have been pricked with needles with unknown substances while participating in marches on the streets of Havana.

"It is clear that the reality in Cuba is far from the state propaganda on 'reforms' and 'changes'. The Cuban regime deserves strong condemnation for these crimes and persecutions of people. The international community should take the necessary steps to prevent the further escalation of the extrajudicial executions by the Castro regime", concluded Laima Andrikiene MEP.

For further information:

Laima Liucija ANDRIKIENE MEP, Tel: +32-2-2845858

Giedrė Uzdilaitė, EPP Group Press and Communications Service, Tel: +32-474 942022

Notes to Editors:

The EPP Group is by far the largest political group in the European Parliament with 271 Members.


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