Office of the Spokesperson
For Immediate Release
Statement by Secretary Michael R. Pompeo
November 24, 2020
The U.S. government strongly condemns the Cuban regime’s harassment of activists peacefully protesting the imprisonment of human rights defender Denis Solís González. We urge the Cuban government to dismiss this unjust sentence and release him without condition.
The regime has repeatedly targeted Mr. Solís González, a musician and member of the San Isidro Movement (MSI) , for exercising his freedom of expression by denouncing ongoing human rights abuses in Cuba. On November 9, regime officials arrested Mr. Solís, held him incommunicado for three days, and then abruptly sentenced him to eight months in prison on a dubious charge of “contempt.”
Following his detention, regime agents arrested dozens of journalists and human rights defenders seeking information about his case or advocating for his release. They have now blockaded MSI and others inside the group’s headquarters, where dissidents have been subjected to assaults as they call attention to the horrific situation in Cuba. While international journalists have been physically removed from the scene, the world is watching what is happening.
The United States stands in solidarity with the Cuban people, and we will continue to denounce these flagrant abuses against Cubans exercising their rights. We call on democratic partners around the world to raise their voices and make respect for human rights a prerequisite for any dealings with the Castro regime.