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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Press Relations Office > Press Releases (Other) > 2003 > April
Press Statement
Philip T. Reeker, Deputy Spokesman
Washington, DC
April 3, 2003


Cuba: Kangaroo Courts

The United States condemns the Cuban regime's initiation of trials against at least 78 members of independent Cuban civil society.

Dozens of Cubans whose only "crimes" were to demand their fundamental rights of assembly now face summary justice in regime kangaroo courts. The Cuban government has denied the international media and members of the diplomatic corps permission even to observe these sham proceedings.

We understand that at least a dozen individuals -- including democracy stalwart Marta Beatriz Roque, poet and independent journalist Raul Rivero, independent labor activist Pedro Pablo Alvarez and civil disobedience advocate Oscar Elias Biscet and "Todos Unidos" leader Oswaldo Alfonso all face life sentences. A number of Project Varela organizers, including Oswaldo PayŠ's number two, Antonio Diaz, face 15 to 30 years in prison.

The Castro regime's actions are the most despicable act of political repression in the Americas in a decade. While the rest of the hemisphere has moved toward greater freedom, the anachronistic Cuban government appears to be retreating into Stalinism.

The United States calls on the international community to join us in condemning this repression and in demanding the release of these Cuban prisoners of conscience.


Released on April 3, 2003

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