US joins other nations in condemning arrests of protesters in Cuba

US joins other nations in condemning arrests of protesters in Cuba
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The U.S., along with a coalition of about 20 other countries, issued a statement on Monday condemning the arrest of protesters in Cuba.

The statement called on Cuba "to respect the universal rights and freedoms of the Cuban people, including the free flow of information to all Cubans."

The statement was also signed by Austria, Brazil, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Estonia, Guatemala, Greece, Honduras, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, South Korea and Ukraine.

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Demonstrations broke out in Cuba earlier this month in protest of the government handling of an economic crisis, food shortages and high prices brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Dozens of demonstrators, activists and journalists have been arrested since the protests began and at least one person has been killed.

The foreign ministers stated that the Cuban protesters had exercised the "universal freedoms of expression and assembly" through their actions, citing their right to do so as stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The world leaders called on the Cuban government to respect the "guaranteed rights and freedoms of the Cuban people" and to release those who have been arrested so far.

"We call for press freedom and for the full restoration of Internet access, which allows economies and societies to thrive. We urge the Cuban government to heed the voices and demands of the Cuban people," the statement said. "The international community will not waver in its support of the Cuban people and all those who stand up for the basic freedoms all people deserve."

"The Cuban government has responded not by recognizing the voices of its own people, but by further stifling those voices through arbitrary detentions and secret summary trials lacking due process guarantees," U.S. Secretary of State Antony BlinkenAntony BlinkenIsraeli official says plans to reopen US mission for Palestinians maybe shelved Overnight Defense & National Security — Presented by Raytheon Technologies — Biden backtracks on Taiwan Nearly 200 Americans want to leave Afghanistan, State Department tells Congress MORE said in a statement. "The United States will continue to support the Cuban people’s desire for freedom and to determine their own future. This joint statement demonstrates that the Cuban people are not alone in their aspirations."