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Press Statement
Tom Casey, Deputy Spokesman
Washington, DC
March 18, 2008


Anniversary of Cuba's Black Spring

Five years ago today, the Cuban government began a week-long roundup of human rights advocates, independent librarians and journalists, and other Cuban citizens seeking peaceful, democratic change. Known as the Black Spring, 75 of these individuals were arrested, subjected to show trials, and sentenced to prison terms ranging from 14 to 30 years. They joined a long list of Cuban prisoners of conscience already jailed. For their peaceful acts, they have spent years held under brutal prison conditions.

We join Vaclav Havel, the former President of the Czech Republic, and other voices in calling for the immediate, unconditional release of the victims of the Black Spring and all prisoners of conscience in Cuba. As President Bush has said, “We will know there is a new Cuba when authorities go to the prisons, walk to the cells where people are being held for their beliefs and set them free.” The Cuban people deserve real change and the opportunity to join a dialogue about their country’s future free from fear.

2008/202


Released on March 18, 2008

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