US condemns Cuban trials of anti-government protestors

·2-min read
Protestors taking to the streets of Havana on July 11, 2021 (AFP/YAMIL LAGE)

The United States on Thursday condemned the "politically motivated trials" of more than 90 Cubans who were involved in unprecedented anti-government protests in July.

"Since Dec 13, the Cuban regime tried 90+ #11J protestors across Cuba," Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs Brian Nichols said in a tweet using a hashtag that refers to street demonstrations on July 11.

"The world sees the magnitude of these injustices," the State Department official said. "Fraudulent charges to silence, & atrocious prison conditions for peaceful demonstrators."

Nichols said the Cuban authorities were seeking sentences of up to 25 years in prison for some of the participants in the protests.

A State Department spokesperson said Nichols' tweet was "intended to highlight the continued detention of hundreds of peaceful protesters following historic, peaceful protests in July, as well as, the Cuban regime's politically motivated trials."

"These current court proceedings, occurring simultaneously throughout the island, are an affront to Cubans' human rights and their demands for freedom," the spokesperson said.

"Cuban state prosecutors have manufactured false or unjust charges such as 'sedition' for the actions of peaceful demonstrators during July 11 in an attempt to silence dissidents, quash future peaceful protests, and intimidate regime critics," the spokesperson added.

The State Department spokesperson said the Cuban government appears to holding the prosecutions during the holiday season to "hide their human rights abuses."

The nationwide protests against Cuba's communist regime were the largest since the 1959 revolution.

On July 11 and 12 thousands of Cubans screaming "freedom" and "we are hungry" took to the streets in some 50 cities and towns to protest harsh living conditions and government repression.

Around 1,270 people were arrested, according to the Miami-based human rights group Cubalex.

Havana has accused Washington of fueling the unrest.

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