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Op-Ed: U.S. Demands Release of Cuban Sulmira Martínez Pérez Unlawfully Jailed by State Security – Let Her Go

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Courageous Sulmira Martínez Pérez, a 21-year-old Cuban woman, fights for freedom in communist Cuba. Her boldness and bravery are inspirational.  

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Courageous Sulmira Martínez Pérez, a 21-year-old Cuban woman, fights for freedom in communist Cuba. Her boldness and bravery are inspirational.  

The United States government ruled in favor of the release of Sulmira Martínez Pérez in March, detained since January by State Security after sharing memes on Facebook and expressing her intentions to organize a peaceful demonstration in Cuba, according to an article in CiberCuba

The Havana Times reports Sulmira Martínez Perez, arrested on January 10, 2023, for announcing her intention to protest in the streets, was transferred on March 17 to Guatao prison in Havana, according to journalist Mónica Baró who quoted the 21-year-old’s mother, Norma Perez. 

Similarly, Norma Perez said the charges against her daughter have changed from “propaganda against the constitutional order” to “instigating a crime,” one of the charges applied to many of the protestors of July 11, 2021.  

Read more info at Center for a Free Cuba on Twitter

“Cuba must release Sulmira without delay and stop imprisoning Cubans for expressing themselves freely,” the US Embassy in Havana wrote on Twitter. 

Assistant Secretary Brian A. Nichols’ Remarks on Cuba Policy at the Cuban Research Institute of Florida International University March 7, 2023. Read HERE. 

Excerpts:  

“Everyone in this room is aware that the Cuban people are facing among the most difficult and dire political, economic, and social circumstances since Fidel Castro came to power. Analysts suggest the economic situation is worse even than the so-called Special Period of the 1990’s, and the human rights situation is grimmer than it has been for decades.” 

“That sense of desperation and a yearning for greater freedoms led to the protests in July 2021 – the largest nationwide demonstrations in Cuba in recent history. Instead of recognizing the moment and addressing citizens’ legitimate concerns, the Cuban government responded with characteristic repression, condemning hundreds of protestors to prison with sentences up to 25 years. 

“Unfortunately, in the more than 18 months since these historic protests, the regime has only doubled down. NGOs estimate that over 700 protestors are among the more than 1,000 total political prisoners that remain behind bars today.” 

The legal organization, Cubalex, which monitors cases of political prisoners on the Island also demanded, “The Cuban regime should release Sulmira without delay and stop incarcerating Cubans for freely expressing themselves.” 

What can you do?  

  • Put Pérez, her family, and the Cuban protestors on your prayer list.  
  • Contact your state representatives and speak up for the release of the protestors for freedom.
  • Contact the US Embassy in Havana at [email protected] and peacefully voice your support for the protestors. Benjamin Ziff assumed the role of Chargé d’Affaires of the United States Embassy in Havana, Cuba on July 14th, 2022. 

Abajo el Comunismo! Abajo la Dictadura! Viva Cuba Libre!” which in English translates to: “Down with communism! Down with the dictatorship! Long Live free Cuba!” 

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