Enjoying the holidays with family and friends. Getting ready for the New Year's celebrations? Please take a moment from the festivities and think of those locked up and mistreated for exercising their fundamental human rights.
More than a dozen human rights and pro-democracy organizations from Latin America, Europe and the United States have made a request during this holiday season that bishops, priests, pastors, rabbis, and men and women of good will to engage in all possible efforts with the authorities to obtain an amnesty of all political prisoners in Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua.
Partial lists provided by internal human rights groups indicate that there are at least 120 political prisoners in Cuba, 576 political prisoners in Nicaragua, and 288 political prisoners in Venezuela spending the holiday season behind bars. At a minimum 984 fellow human beings arbitrarily detained and subjected to cruel and unusual punishments for being prisoners of conscience.
On December 23rd focused on three cases from three different countries: Cuba, Hugo Damián Prieto Blanco;Venezuela, José Alberto Marulanda; and Nicaragua, Amaya Eva Coppens. Sadly, there are many more and some cases are critical.
Cuba: Jailed artist on hunger strike
|Maykel Castillo Pérez: Prisoner of conscience on hunger strike.|
|Opposition deputy Juan Requesens in custody without a hearing (PanAm Post)|
On August 7, 2018, “fourteen men of the SEBIN (Maduro's intelligence agency) forcefully kidnapped lawmaker Juan Requesens and his sister Rafaela Requesens, the president of the Federation of University Centers, ” reported the Justice First party, to which Requesens belongs. His sister was released a short time later.
Nicaragua: Journalist arbitrarily detained
|Lucia Pineda Ubau: Journalist imprisoned for exercising her freedom of expression|
Please join us in speaking up for these and other political prisoners. Please remember the words of the great Czech dissident Václav Havel who explained back in 1990 that "[t]he salvation of this human world lies nowhere else than in the human heart, in the human power to reflect, in human meekness and human responsibility."
It begins with you. Will you do your part?
1. Please ask your pastor, rabbi, or priest to pray for the freedom of political prisoners during their religious services during this holiday season.
2. Please write letters to religious leaders in your community to request that the governments of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua free their political prisoners.
3. Please use the following hashtags to spread this message.