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|
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.Navidad sin presos políticos en #Cuba, #Venezuela y #Nicaragua.— Antonio Romero Piriz (@RomeroPiriz) December 23, 2018
.@silviojbaez "God is on the side of the victims, never on the side of the oppressors... The best Christmas would be to see the political prisoners freed." (23 Dec 18) https://t.co/fEWD9qt0UH— Carmelite Quotes (@carmelitequotes) December 23, 2018
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|
|Hugo Damián Prieto Blanco is a new Cuban political prisoner|
#19Dic 15 obreros los nuevos presos políticos de la dictadura de Maduro. #Venezuela https://t.co/lEnRw4peTj pic.twitter.com/t02vxuCVYS— PROVEA (@_Provea) December 19, 2018
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|
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.