The Cuban-American Undergraduate Association (CAUSA) stands in solidarity with members of the Archipiélago movement, the San Isidro movement and Cuban people in their fight for civil liberties, including the freedom of speech. For over six decades, Cuban people have suffered from oppression and repression at the hands of Latin America’s longest dictatorship, which has stripped away the most fundamental civil liberties and human rights.
Today, on Nov. 15, Cubans are protesting peacefully, determined to decide their own future and demand (1) that their civil rights be respected, (2) that political prisoners be released and their whereabouts be communicated to their families and (3) the establishment of a democratic system where all opinions, including those opposing current leadership, can be voiced. Cuban people will be marching across multiple provinces, dressed in all white to symbolize their peaceful intentions. Members of CAUSA will also be dressed in all white, in support for this movement.
Permits for this protest were denied and the “Civic March for Change” was declared illegal Oct. 12, 2021, by the Cuban government. In response to the people’s demand for peaceful protests on Nov. 15, the Cuban government has militarized the country, claiming the march is financed by the U.S. in an attempt to destabilize the current leadership. State-controlled media has broadcasted videos of the militias training with AK-47s and members of the Committee for the Defense of the Revolution patrolling the streets, specifically areas where activists live. Additionally, activists who have not yet been imprisoned have been threatened alongside their family members. Cubans on the island who decide to take to the streets are putting themselves at risk — they are being asked to film a video of themselves before leaving their homes, stating their name and proving that they are unarmed. These videos can be used in the case of a protester’s disappearance or detention.
Today more than ever, the Cuban people need international visibility. Yale’s Cuban students are committed to amplifying their voices. We fully support the Nov. 15 peaceful demonstrations summoned by the activist group Archipiélago and other sectors of the civil society. We also support their demand for the liberation of political prisoners, including those who manifested peacefully during the July 11 protests. The Cuban people’s demand for democracy and freedom of speech is legitimate and must be heard internationally.