In a statement, the secretary of state says President Joe Biden’s administration admires “the irrepressible determination (of the Cuban people) against oppression.”
“To the people of Cuba: Americans watch with admiration on July 11, 2021, as thousands of you take to the streets to raise your voice for human rights, fundamental freedoms and a better life,” he says.
One person was killed, dozens were injured and more than 1,300 people were detained in the July 11 and 12 protests, with slogans of “we are hungry” and “freedom”, according to Quebex, a Miami-based human rights NGO. taken.
Cuban officials claim that the demonstrations were organized by the United States.
“We are with you – affirms Blinken – because the Cuban government, instead of welcoming the voice of the people, sentenced hundreds of protesters to decades in prison”, the note read.
According to the Office of the Attorney General of the Republic of Cuba, 790 prisoners were prosecuted, and 488 received the final sentence, many of whom were sentenced to up to 25 years in prison for the offense of treason.
The United States considers it “unacceptable” that these protesters remain behind bars and says they will “continue to support the Cuban people (…) in their struggle for democracy.”
According to Blinken, it aims to ensure that Cuban authorities are held accountable for “human rights abuses”, to condemn “restrictions on fundamental liberties and labor rights”, for the unconditional release of political prisoners and to encourage his colleagues. do the same.
In Havana, Cuban President Miguel Daz-Canel said today (11) the island would celebrate the defeat of “a barbaric coup d’état”.
When he reached the White House in January 2021, Biden promised to review US policy towards Cuba. The island has been under US embargo since 1962.
In May this year, he announced that he would lift some of the restrictions imposed on the island during his predecessor Donald Trump’s tenure to ease immigration procedures, money transfers and flights. Havana welcomed the decision.