Last week, U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., wrote to President Joe Biden demanding that he take immediate action to secure humanitarian medical visits for José Daniel Ferrer, a Cuban freedom and human rights activist who has been imprisoned by the communist Cuban regime for nearly six months, and all other political prisoners.
Scott urged Biden to work with the international community to secure the immediate release of all political prisoners.
The letter follows Scott’s calls in December with members of José Daniel Ferrer’s family as well as conversations with White House National Security Council Senior Director for the Western Hemisphere Juan Gonzalez, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres and Organization of American States Secretary General Luis Almagro. One day after his call with Scott in December, OAS Secretary General Almagro issued a communique demanding medical aid for and the immediate release of the freedom activists being unjustly jailed and tortured by the Cuban regime.
The letter is below.
Dear President Biden:
I write to you today with extreme urgency to request a meeting on the dire conditions of José Daniel Ferrer, the Cuban freedom and human rights activist, who has been unjustly detained for nearly six months and is being psychologically and physically tortured by the illegitimate communist Cuban regime in an attempt to end his life.
Last month, I spoke with Ana Belkis Ferrer, Luis Enrique Ferrer and Martha Ferrer. According to these family members, José Daniel’s health is dire and only getting worse. He’s suffering from severe headaches, mouth bleeding, malnutrition, cough and insomnia – all products of the cruel torture and inhumane treatment from the regime. Each time I have spoken with members of José Daniel’s family, I only hear more terrible and infuriating news about his declining health. It is clear that these actions stem from the regime’s total fear over José Daniel’s leadership in the movement for freedom and democracy spreading across Cuba.
It has been six months since the demonstrations for freedom and democracy in Cuba began and your administration has done nothing to support this cause. Our immediate goal is to secure humanitarian medical visits for José Daniel and all political prisoners being held by the Diaz-Canel and Castro regime. These innocent people are dying and we must continue fighting for their release for this unjust imprisonment.
In December, I spoke with White House National Security Council Senior Director for the Western Hemisphere Juan Gonzalez, United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres and Organization of American States (OAS) Secretary General Luis Almagro to discuss the urgent human rights crisis in Cuba. Following these conversations, I was proud to see OAS Secretary General Almagro immediately issue a communique demanding medical aid for and the immediate release of the brave freedom activists being unjustly jailed and tortured by the illegitimate communist Cuban regime. Unfortunately, but unsurprisingly, your administration has refused to take similar action.
As the leader of the free world, you have the responsibility and duty to stand up for human rights and democracy abroad. Why have you refused to directly engage on this issue when so many of your predecessors, presidents from both parties, have done so? Why have you refused to take up the cause of José Daniel Ferrer, a human rights crisis which both the OAS and UN deemed worthy of their immediate attention? The inaction of both yourself and your administration warrants explanation. You must have a reason for continuing to ignore the millions of Americans who urge immediate action to address these grave injustices.
We cannot and will not tolerate continued inaction from your administration. I urge you to immediately follow the lead of the OAS and others and demand the Cuban regime release these innocent people. The Cuban people are in danger and the United States must lead in securing humanitarian intervention to save their lives.