Diaz-Balart Calls for Immediate Release of Misael Canet Velázquez
WASHINGTON —Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) released the following statement calling for the immediate release of independent journalist Misael Canet Velázquez.
“On December 17, 2015, independent journalist Misael Canet Velázquez of the Orlando Zapata Tamayo Civic Resistance Front was violently arrested and imprisoned for expressing his desire for freedom. According to reports, he has been on hunger strike for at least 27 days and, according to his family, is being held in abhorrent conditions in Camaguey’s notorious Kilo 8 prison without clothes or a suitable place to sleep, and has been provided limited access to water.
“Misael’s arrest was one of more than 8,000 that occurred in Cuba since President Obama’s December 17, 2014 announcement of unconditional concessions to the Castro regime. Shamefully, the dictatorship’s human rights record has not improved. In fact, several of the Obama-Castro ‘53’ released political prisoners have been rearrested. I urge the Obama administration to press for the immediate release of activists including Misael, Hugo Damian Prieto Blanco, Vladimir Morera Bacallao, Jorge Ramirez Calderon, and all other political prisoners in Cuba. Until Castros’ gulags are emptied of all innocent prisoners, and basic human rights and liberties are respected, there must be no further concessions to the Castro regime.”