Cuban Marxist Frank García Hernández was arrested last Sunday during mass mobilizations against food and vaccine shortages and the government’s handling of the pandemic. These conditions have been exacerbated by the imperialist embargo which has been ongoing for six decades. The Trump administration placed 200 additional sanctions on the country — measures which have been continued by the Biden administration.
Police forces violently repressed the demonstrations — the most important since 1994 — with pepper spray and truncheons. According to his friends and comrades, Frank was violently detained together with other socialists.
Frank, a sociologist, historian, and member of Comunistas Blog, was released along with Maikel González Vivero, director of the LGTBQ community magazine, Tremenda Nota, who was also arrested on Sunday.
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However, according to their comrades, Frank and Maikel are under house surveillance, and are not permitted to carry out any activity or meeting without prior authorization from the state. This is clearly political persecution, and an attack on their most basic democratic freedoms.
Other socialist activists who were arrested on Sunday, including Marco Antonio Pérez Fernández and Leonardo Romero Negrín, are still being detained. We demand their immediate release, and the termination of all judicial proceedings — including the house arrest — and persecution against Frank and his comrades.
For this reason, we must show international solidarity to demand freedom for Frank and his comrades, and denounce all repressive actions of the Cuban government against these protesters.
As we have stated previously, we call for an end to repression and arbitrary detentions by the Cuban government, for the democratic right to protest, and for free trade-union, social and political organization.
Originally published in Spanish on July 13, 2021 in La Izquierda Diario
Translated by Sou Mi