Florida Delegation Backs Resolution Calling for Cuban Regime to Release Silverio Portal Contreras

A dozen members of the Florida delegation are championing a resolution calling for the Cuban regime to release Silverio Portal Contreras.

Last week, U.S. Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, D-Fla., introduced the resolution.

“Portal Contreras, an Afro-Cuban activist, was arbitrarily arrested in 2016 and sentenced to four years in prison in 2018 after protesting in Havana against the Cuban regime. While in prison, Portal Contreras’ health has severely declined from inadequate medical attention, and he has been beaten so severely by security officials that he has reportedly been left blind in one eye,” the congresswoman’s office noted. “Several governmental bodies and organizations have expressed urgent concerns about his health or called for Portal Contreras’ unconditional release, including the European Parliament, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and Amnesty International.”

“Silverio Portal Contreras was imprisoned for nothing more than speaking out against the Castro regime for cruel human rights violations,” said Mucarsel-Powell on Friday. “Silverio needs urgent medical attention, and my bipartisan colleagues and I are calling on the Cuban authorities to immediately release him. The Cuban regime must end its egregious politically-motivated arrests of its citizens who advocate for human rights and democracy; they must allow the free expression of thought and speech among its people.”

U.S. Reps. Charlie Crist, D-Fla., Ted Deutch, D-Fla., Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., Al Lawson, D-Fla. Brian Mast, R-Fla., Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., Donna Shalala, D-Fla., Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., and Ted Yoho, R-Fla., are cosponsoring the resolution.

Mucarsel-Powell’s resolution was sent to the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee.

 

Reach Kevin Derby at kevin.derby@floridadaily.com.

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