Florida’s U.S. senators–Republicans Marco Rubio and Rick Scott–are championing a resolution honoring Damas de Blanco, a group of Cuban women who oppose the communist regime.
“These courageous women, who offer a voice to Cuba’s voiceless, gather and march peacefully through the streets of Havana with gladiolus flowers in hand, defying the dictatorship’s constant attacks on their nonviolent exercise of freedom of speech and assembly,” Rubio’s office noted last week.
Other backers of Rubio’s resolution included U.S. Sens. Ben Cardin, D-Mary., Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Bob Menendez, D-NJ.
“As we observe Women’s History Month, I am proud to once again lead this bipartisan resolution honoring the legacy of Las Damas de Blanco,” Rubio said. “Living under the Castro and Díaz-Canel repressive apparatus, these brave women have led one of Cuba’s most important peaceful civic movements. As we continue to witness the despotic nature of this criminal regime, we must continue to raise the voices of the island’s dissidents. As a Cuban-American, I remain committed to echoing the Damas de Blanco’s demands for basic freedoms and true justice.”
“I’m honored to join my colleagues today to re-introduce the Damas de Blanco Resolution to recognize the courageous women who have stood up against the oppressive Castro regime for almost two decades,” Scott said. These women are an inspiration to everyone fighting for human rights, freedom and democracy. The U.S. will continue to support them and all who oppose communist tyrants in Cuba, Venezuela and around the world.”
“At a moment of renewed civic activism in Cuba, this resolution stands in solidarity with all Cubans who seek democratic change in their country and recognizes the historic efforts of the Damas de Blanco to defend human rights. In the face of relentless persecution, wrongful imprisonment, and state-sanctioned violence, the unflinching commitment of the Damas de Blanco to the cause of democracy in Cuba is nothing short of heroic,” said Menendez. “As Cuba’s citizens are increasingly raising their voices against the lack of basic freedoms and social justice on the island, this bipartisan resolution reaffirms our commitment to make the Cuban people’s aspirations a central element of our policy towards Havana.”
“This bipartisan resolution signals the unwavering and continuing support of the American people for the Ladies in White, who march peacefully to fight against the continuing injustices of communism and the Cuban regime,” Cruz said. “I am proud to stand with them, and to continue to work to hold accountable those in the regime who use murder and torture to deny the people of Cuba the freedom they deserve.”
“For years, Las Damas de Blanco, also known as the Ladies in White, have tirelessly voiced their desire for the Cuban government to grant more freedoms not only for their loved ones who have been wrongfully detained, but also for Cubans across the island,” Cardin said. “I am proud to support this bipartisan resolution. The United States applauds their bravery and stands in solidarity with those who advocate for human rights in Cuba.”
The resolution was sent to the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee which Menendez chairs and on which Rubio sits.
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org.