MEPs demand Castro regime to end repression against UNPACU activists.
A group of members of the European Parliament (EP) demanded Thursday that the Castro regime cease repression against the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) and expressed their concern for the more than 40 activists who have been on hunger strike for thirteen days.
In a letter (pdf) sent to the Cuban regime's Ambassador to the European Union, Norma Goicochea Estenoz, the group calls for the "cessation of the repressive police siege against UNPACU and its activists for their humanitarian work".
The document was signed by EP Vice-President Dita Charanzová; Javier Nart, María Soraya Rodríguez, Leopoldo López Gil, and the vice-president of the European Conservatives and Reformists group, Hermann Tertsch.
"The UNPACU headquarters is surrounded by agents with patrols, cage trucks where they detain activists for days, and special troop trucks parked nearby. There is also a ban on the movement of people who want to go to UNPACU headquarters, who are illegally beaten and detained," the letter says.
"The siege that has been made to the UNPACU headquarters is a retaliation to the humanitarian work that this organization has been carrying out, providing food and medicine to the most needy," they added.
12 días en #HuelgaDeHambreContraRepresion en Cuba. @jdanielferrer explica la preocupante situación actual en este vídeo. El cerco policial contra la UNPACU, la represión y las detenciones ilegales tienen que parar ya. @JosepBorrellF pic.twitter.com/fCnx7T3IL9— Dita Charanzová (@charanzova) April 1, 2021
On March 20, 47 activists joined José Daniel Ferrer, leader of UNPACU, to begin a hunger strike. In a video released the same day, Ferrer explained that he and four other UNPACU activists began the hunger strike as an "extreme" last resort to tell the world what is happening at the organization's headquarters.
"The regime] beats and detains children, women, the elderly. It impedes the passage of more than 200 people so that they do not arrive to get their food and/or medical attention here in our national headquarters," Ferrer stated.
The five EP members showed their concern for the "serious health problems" of Ferrer, who they said has pain in his kidneys and head and his vision is "limited".
They also pointed out that the Cuban regime's actions go against Articles 1 (5) and 22 of the Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and its Member States and the Republic of Cuba, on Democracy and Human Rights.
The MEPs urged the island to end illegal detentions, reestablish Internet at the organization's headquarters, and ensure a proper medical examination for Ferrer.
In the last month, Ferrer has been the victim of several attacks by the regime. In a recent interview with The Epoch Times in early March, the activist said that behind his latest arrest is the Castro regime's fear of the activism and social aid provided by his organization.
"One of the issues of our political and social activism that bothers the regime the most is social work, when we feed and take care of so many people. Even though the regime threatens them with punishment, they keep coming here," he said.
"The social work is what really scares the regime a lot because they see that we become an alternative [to them]," he added.
The activists' hunger strike has been causing the repudiation of the international community, such as Republican Senator Marco Rubio and Venezuelan interim president Juan Guaidó, who condemned the regime's actions.
With information by Deby Alatriste.
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