Last week, with the help of U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., a resolution calling for the immediate release of a Cuban democracy activist from U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, D-NJ, cleared the U.S. Senate without opposition.
Menendez’s resolution called for the release of José Daniel Ferrer, an opponent of the Cuba regime, who was imprisoned in October and convicted in April to serve four and a half years in prison for his continued opposition to the communist government. Rubio, U.S. Sens. Ben Cardin, D-Mary., Susan Collins, R-Maine, Ted Cruz, R-Tex., and Dick Durbin, D-Ill., cosponsored the resolution.
“José Daniel Ferrer, honored as the Truman Reagan Medal of Freedom laureate, has left an everlasting mark in the fight for democracy and basic freedoms in Cuba,” Rubio said. “I was proud to join this bipartisan resolution honoring a truly remarkable man who has dedicated his life to defending human rights and the rule of law in his beloved homeland.”
“I am very pleased to see the Senate speak with one voice in calling for the immediate release of José Daniel Ferrer,” Menendez said. “The Cuban regime’s fixation with targeting Mr. Ferrer for dedicating his life to promoting democracy and human rights in the island is simply unacceptable. Those who fight for the values of democracy, freedom and equality deserve to have a reliable ally in the United States government. Through this resolution, we reiterate our demands for the Cuban regime to immediately cease its campaign of intimidation against José Daniel and UNPACU’s members.”
“Cuba’s unjust harassment, detention, and arrests of political activists like José Daniel Ferrer must end. Bipartisan support for human rights and democracy around the world and here at home should never end,” said Cardin. “Congress will continue to press Cuba to take meaningful steps toward genuine freedoms and political pluralism for the Cuban people, which are long overdue.”
“I am pleased our resolution calling for the immediate release of Jose Daniel Ferrer passed with strong bipartisan support,” Cruz said. “This sends a clear and unified message to Miguel Díaz-Canel and Raul Castro that the United States has not forgotten about Jose’s unjust imprisonment, and that we extend our unwavering support in his fight against their repression and violence.”
“José Daniel Ferrer is a committed and outspoken advocate for democracy who has repeatedly risked his liberty and his life in order to promote freedom for his fellow Cubans,” Collins said. “His arbitrary imprisonment and mistreatment at the hands of Cuban authorities are egregious violations of human rights. Our bipartisan resolution expresses the Senate’s solidarity with Mr. Ferrer’s courageous fight for democratic principles, condemns the unjust actions of Cuban authorities, and calls for his immediate and unconditional release.”