This resurrected tactic by the US government to discourage the growing solidarity movement with Cuba is a dangerous development that should have all progressive activists and groups on alert.
Earlier this month right-wing Senator Marco Rubio, a hater of Cuba, publicly called for the FBI to investigate Carlos Lazo and his humanitarian aid project Puente de Amor for taking powdered milk and medical supplies to the island. It seems like he got their attention. Here we are posting the statement from the Cuba Solidarity Committee of Puerto Rico followed by the solidarity statement from the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP) – editorial
The president of the Cuba Solidarity Committee (CSC) of Puerto Rico, Milagros Rivera, denounces the intimidation operation unleashed by federal agents through calls and visits to several activists of the Committee and members of the Juan Rius Rivera Brigade.
Claiming that they were investigating the Cuba Solidarity Committee, they tried to find out details about the Committee’s spokesperson and the recent trip to Cuba by the Brigade under the category “various types of support for the Cuban people”. On its tour of the country, the brigade delivered sanitary donations to fight against COVID-19 in hospitals and engaged in cultural and educational exchanges with the people.
Since early in the morning of Tuesday, August 23, agents who identified themselves as FBI agents visited over a dozen brigade members and friends in solidarity from different parts of the country, alleging an investigation against the CSC, its president, and the solidarity militancy.
Agents went so far that they told a family they would summon their daughters for having accompanied their parents on the trip.
The CSC calls on the authorities to stop criminalizing the efforts made by the Brigade, which is only involved in humanitarian aid campaigns and exchanges with the Cuban people. The relations between Cuba and Puerto Rico have been running for over a century, and this operation will not stop them or intimidate us.
We tell the FBI to invest its resources in pursuing the criminal mafia in the country, the corrupt, and to investigate the political assassinations they continue to cover up today since the Bureau itself perpetrated them. These are the cases of Carlos Muñiz Varela and Filiberto Ojeda Ríos.
The CSC expresses that no militant, brigade member, or supportive friend has to talk with the FBI. If they have any accusations, they should talk to the lawyers who will be supporting us.
If they want to put on a media show in moments like the one we are living, we warn that the empire will never be able to block solidarity.
We urge the press and the media to investigate this FBI aggression against our young people and those who are in solidarity with the Cuban people and all fair causes of humanity.
We ask friendly organizations to speak out against this new abuse by the FBI. Forgetting is forbidden for us.
Milagros Rivera, CSC President.
The Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP) stands in solidarity with our brothers and sisters from Puerto Rico who took part at the Juan Rius Rivera Work Brigade last July. Some of them have been harassed by the FBI in their own homes, as if they had committed a crime by visiting Cuba:
“The Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples, ICAP, raises its voice to denounce the persecution and harassment campaigns that have been unleashed by FBI agents against the Committee of Solidarity with Cuba in Puerto Rico and the members of the 31st Puerto Rican Brigade Juan Rius Rivera, that during the month of July they carried out an exchange program with the Cuban people, defying the blockade that Cuba has been subjected to for more than six decades and, in turn, the internal blockade imposed by the United States government on the Puerto Rican people, preventing other countries of the world know about their reality and their emancipatory struggles.
The brigade members have been subjected to interrogations, intimidation and telephone calls, seeking information on the activities of the Brigade and its Solidarity Committee.
We urge the international community to support and disseminate the messages of solidarity with the members of the 31st Juan Rius Rivera Brigade, which from the Latin American and Caribbean Continental Network and its member associations have been issued condemning this abominable act, denouncing this outrageous act, violating of the most basic human rights, which is also an act against the Cuban Revolution, to unmask the true intentions of this new and aggressive campaign and to demand that the US administration apply United Nations Resolution 1514 (XV) to put an end to 124 years of colonialism in this territory, disguised as a Commonwealth.
ICAP reaffirms its unwavering solidarity with the brother Puerto Rican, Caribbean and Latin American people in their own right. As the poet and activist Lola Rodríguez de Tió emphasized in her verses, Cuba and Puerto Rico «are as two wings of them same bird…».
SOLIDARITY CANNOT BE BLOCKED!
PUERTO RICO IS NOT ALONE!