Thursday, February 2, 2017

New Generation: Cuban American Virginia House Delegate speaks out on Cuba policy

Governor Terry McAuliffe criticized for failing to address human rights in his Cuba engagement.

Today in the Virginia General Assembly Jason Miyares, a Virginia House Delegate (R - Virginia Beach), born in 1976 made an impassioned critique of Terry Mc Aulliffe's failure to address human rights violations in Cuba and gave an overview of the plight of Cuban political prisoners and the extreme violence visited on human rights defenders. The Washington Post reported on his speech.
“Here, when we hear that, that means a neighbor has come over to say hello,” he said. “But in Cuba, when you hear this,” and he leaned forward and rapped again, “it means something entirely different.”Now the place was utterly silent. Miyares told of how his uncle heard that sound and was hauled out of his house and subjected to a mock execution, because “he didn’t want to join the communist militia.” His cousin, he said, bore scars on his wrists from being in a “Castro gulag.” People living under that oppression feel “a profound sense of hopelessness that they have been forgotten,” he said. And while “what the governor wants obviously is to engage in business,” he failed to acknowledge human rights abuses, Miyares said. Growing angrier, the delegate held up photos of people he said were political prisoners, including one woman who had her hand chopped off “because she spoke out against the government shutting down the only school in her locality.”
This flies in the face of conventional wisdom.

Pollsters for decades have spoken of young Cubans differing from their parents in the desire to see human rights respected and freedom restored in Cuba, but time and time again over the decades at the ballot box the elected representatives in South Florida and New Jersey that have large concentrations of Cuban American voters find that these positions have been sustained.

Sirley Avila Leon mentioned today in Virginia's General Assembly
But what is even more interesting is that even when there is not a large Cuban American constituency there are young Cuban American elected officials that speak truth to power on behalf of human rights and liberty in Cuba.

This was on display today in the heart of Virginian with a powerful round of applause in the General Assembly following his statement on the failure of Virginia's governor to address human rights in Cuba.. 

Opposition leader and Amnesty International prisoner of conscience Eduardo Cardet

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