WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Rick Scott released the following statement after phone calls with White House National Security Council Senior Director for the Western Hemisphere Juan Gonzalez, United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres and Organization of American States (OAS) Secretary General Luis Almagro to discuss the urgent human rights crisis in Cuba. During his conversations with these officials, Senator Scott urged them to use their positions to immediately demand and secure humanitarian medical visits for José Daniel Ferrer, a Cuban freedom and human rights activist who has been unjustly imprisoned by the illegitimate communist Cuban regime for more than 150 days, and all other jailed freedom activists. Senator Scott is also urging the Biden administration to work with the UN, OAS and other human rights groups and members of the international community to secure the immediate release of all jailed freedom activists in Cuba. These calls, which occurred over the past two days, follow Senator Scott’s conversation on Tuesday with members of José Daniel Ferrer’s family.
Senator Rick Scott said, “Yesterday, I spoke with Ana Belkis Ferrer, Luis Enrique Ferrer and Martha Ferrer. These family members told me that every day, José Daniel is subjected to physical and psychological torture by the brutal communist Cuban regime in an attempt to end his life. He’s suffering from severe headaches, mouth bleeding, malnutrition, cough and insomnia – all products of the cruel torture and inhumane treatment from the regime. It is clear that these actions stem from the regime’s total fear over José Daniel’s leadership in the movement for freedom and democracy spreading across Cuba. The horrific reality is that José Daniel and other innocent people are dying. The United States and our partners across the world must demand humanitarian intervention to save their lives.
“After the strange incident this morning, I was pleased to finally speak with someone in the White House about the horrific abuses suffered by José Daniel Ferrer and other freedom activists at the hands of the illegitimate communist Cuban regime. I also appreciate UN Secretary-General António Guterres and OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro for their time and commitment to work with us on this human rights crisis. José Daniel has been unjustly imprisoned for more than 150 days, and it’s been six months since the demonstrations for freedom and democracy began across Cuba. We cannot tolerate further delays and inaction. Everyone who supports freedom, democracy and human rights must stand up, be loud and condemn the crimes against humanity committed by the Diaz-Canel and Castro regime. The people of Cuba deserve freedom from this tyranny and true democracy where they can live without fear. I truly hope that following these calls, the Biden administration and our partners in the fight to protect human rights will take action and unapologetically stand with José Daniel Ferrer and the brave Cuban people fighting for their freedom.”