15.12. 2010 The Cuban injustice - statement by 'Friends of Free Cuba'. Sakharov Prize 2010

The Cuban Government has refused Sakharov Prize winners the right to travel and to collect the Award. By doing so the Castro regime continues to demonstrate a blatant disregard for human rights. We, Members of the ´Friends of Free Cuba´ group in the European Parliament, find it apparent that although the new leader of Cuba has made changes within his government, he continues to fall short of moving toward Democratization.

We condemn these actions and call upon this Parliament to take continued action in pressuring Cuba to provide their citizens with fundamental human rights that all people deserve. Democracy is a human right!!


We offer our support and prayers, not only to Mr. Farinas and all the freedom fighters but to all of the Cuban people, and we encourage them to stay strong and motivated as we work toward an improvement in their country.


In light of this most recent restriction for a Sakharov Prize winner, we must harden and perhaps intensify our efforts towards Cuba. It is quite evident that the regime has implemented a policy of reform in the face of the media and yet has continued to practice the old ways of former President Fidel Castro. These actions are an outrage, and identify an ever growing problem.


Our governments are sometimes more interested in lip-service than in action, and the ramifications of this are being felt by Citizens. While we have access to our fundamental rights, the citizens in countries run by oppressive governments continue to suffer. Mr. Farinas is from Cuba and continues to fight for the Cuban people; he is also a symbol for all who struggle world-wide. He was selected for this Award because of what he represents - the total disregard for his personal well-being - as to protect everyone's basic human rights. This is what the Sakharov Prize is about, one group or persons self-sacrifice for mankind. That is why the actions taken to refuse Mr. Farinas the ability to accept his Award are even more disheartening.


The European Union and its citizens have prided themselves in fighting for human rights and stand together in support of not only the Cuban people but all of those around the world whose rights are stripped from them. Thus, it is our responsibility as the political representation of our citizens, to send a clear message that terror and oppression can not, and will not be tolerated.  We stand united behind the Cuban people and extend to them our unwavering support. We implore the Cuban Government to allow the Ladies in White and Mr. Farinas to travel to Europe to receive their Prize and allow them to be recognized for their substantial contribution to the human rights.


On behalf of Friends of Free Cuba,

Jarosław WAŁĘSA






András GYURK




Francisco MILLAN MON



Friends of Free Cuba aims at providing a platform for the Members of the European Parliament to play an active role in creating better future for Cubans by acting jointly on common press releases, joint statements as well as by holding periodic discussions.