Sunday, December 23, 2018

Join the campaign for Christmas without political prisoners in Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua

Campaign for general amnesty for political prisoners in Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua.


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 the amnesty of all political prisoners in Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua.

Now is the time to demonstrate our solidarity with those unjustly imprisoned for their political convictions. The late Vaclav Havel in an interview with Amnesty International in 2011 understood the need for people of good will to take action: "It's up to all of us to try, and those that say that individuals are not capable of changing anything are only looking for excuses."

Uruguayan campaign for freedom of political prisoners in Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua
In addition to the dozen human rights and pro-democracy groups mentioned above, the Urguayan Network for Democracy in Cuba has also launched a campaign titled "Christmas without 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.

New political prisoners are being unjustly imprisoned in these countries in conditions that constitute cruel and unusual punishment. Between the months of November and December 15 members of a workers movement in Venezuela were jailed for their activism.

Jose Alberto Marulanda is a Venezuelan political prisoner
Medical professionals, like their counterparts in Cuba, are also subjected to politically motivated arbitrary imprisonment. Venezuelan medical surgeon José Alberto Marulanda has been imprisoned since May 19, 2018 in Ramo Verde prison.

 Hugo Damián Prieto Blanco is a new Cuban political prisoner
On December 18, 2018 in Cuba Hugo Damián Prieto Blanco, a leader in the Orlando Zapata Civic Action Front was sentenced to a year in prison for "pre-criminal dangerousness."This is an Orwellian charge reminiscent of thought crime or Philip K. Dick's pre-crime, and is totalitarian.

In Nicaragua, student activists are facing prison sentences in excess of 30 years, torture, and rape. Amaya Coppens, reported on in this blog back in September of 2018, remains in prison and faces a political show trial with a Sandinista judge in February of 2019. She was just 23 years old at the time of her arrest.

Amaya Coppens is a Nicaraguan political prisoner
 Solidarity has been described as an act of resistance, but it is also an act of hope. Let us take action together and demand a general amnesty for all political prisoners, and in light of the present crises in Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua let us pay special attention to what is going on in these three countries.

This is a time of unity, solidarity and generosity. Please share the following hashtags along with this campaign for a general amnesty for political prisoners and specific and documented information on the political captives of these three regimes.

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.

#LiberenLosYa
#FreeThemNow
#FreedomForPoliticalPrisoners
#LibertadParaLosPresosPoliticos
#CubaNicaraguaVenezuela
#NavidadSinPresosPolíticosEnCubaVenezuelaYNicaragua. #ChristmasWithoutPoliticalPrisonersInCubaVenezuelaAndNicaragua 

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