Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart

Representing the 25th District of FLORIDA

Diaz-Balart Stands in Solidarity with Cuban People, Pro-Democracy Leaders on Cuban Independence Day

May 19, 2017
Press Release

MIAMI – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) issued the following statement ahead of Cuban Independence Day.

“More than a century ago, a courageous and determined people were inspired by heroes such as Jose Marti and won freedom for their island home just ninety miles from our shores.

“Regrettably, a few decades later, that noble effort was marred by a brutal regime that has oppressed the Cuban people and insulted the memories of those who sacrificed for its freedom.  The devastation wreaked by the Castro regime can be found in its legacy of firing squads, gulags, torture, terrorism, subjugation, and widespread deprivation for the Cuban people.

“Some look toward the stepping down of one dictator as an evidence of change.  But, as Jose Marti wisely said, ‘To change masters is not to be free.’  Without fair, multiparty elections, the rights to association, free expression, and religious belief, an independent media, and the liberation of all political prisoners, the Cuban people are not free.  We cannot tolerate the swapping of one dictator for another.

“I am confident that the Cuban people once again will achieve their independence, as they did one hundred and fifteen years ago.  Until then, we stand with those heroes of today who, in the vein of Marti, persist in the struggle for freedom.  They are Berta Soler and the Ladies in White, Jorge Luis Garcia Perez Antunez, Yris Perez Aguilera, Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet, Ivan Hernandez Carrillo, Rosa Maria Paya, Danilo Maldonado Machado ‘El Sexto,’ Antonio Rodiles, Jose Daniel Ferrer, Eduardo Cardet, and so many others.  These heroes are recognized around the world for their strength and resilience. In the last month alone, I had the privilege of attending ceremonies honoring Dr. Biscet and the Ladies in White. They have endured countless sacrifices and assumed grave risks so that the Cuban people may be free.

“Today, as we mark Cuba’s independence from a foreign foe, we also honor the spirit of independence that continues within the Cuban people today.  Together, we look forward to the day when the Cuban people celebrate their independence from the tyranny that has burdened them for nearly sixty years.”