By now, you’re probably familiar with the plight of roughly 70 Cuban youths who were arrested on Monday for wearing a bracelet with the word “cambio”, (change), etched on them.
Babalú Blog has been following the event closely, (here, here and here). Somebody has to. Even though this is a significant event, both because it shows that Cuba’s youth is starting to take matters into their own hands-or wrists in this case- and because of the intolerance, swiftness and harshness with which the regime has used to silence the seemingly innocuous youthful protest, the MSM has chosen to ignore it.
Thankfully, due to our political “interference”, we have some of our own in the Senate and the house of representatives to ensure that those Cubans suffering inside Cuba are not forgotten or ignored.
Today, two Cuban American Senators, one a democrat, one a republican brought the plight of these Cuban youngsters to light on the Senate floor. Wearing wristbands identical to those worn by the arrested protesters in solidarity the Senators who were joined by Senators Bill Nelson (D-FL), John Cornyn (R-TX), praised the protesters and denounced the communist Cuban regime.
Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) had this to say:
“What was their crime? Acting violent? No, they were walking down a street in Havana…they had on these bracelets,” Menendez said. “This one simple gesture was strong enough to have them thrown in prison – this one simple gesture….I also hope it’s strong enough to inspire change…Their courage must not fall on deaf ears.”
Senator Mel Martinez (R-FL) said the following from the floor:
“Standing with those that are oppressed is our highest moment and our best calling. I find it ironic that something as simple as this little white band with the word “change” on it could be so threatening to this illegitimate regime as to have to imprison 70 young people. Today, we hear another 40 have been arrested.
“It is unconscionable. It is unthinkable that a regime would be so weak to be so threatened by something as simple as these wristbands we are wearing.
“But it is also a sign of the continuing spirit of freedom that continues to be alive and well in that imprisoned island. There is no question about that. That’s why I think it’s so appropriate that we came together to increase the funding for the dissident movement inside Cuba so they can have the simple resources like pens and paper, so they can commune with one another and they can add to their message of freedom, and their message of hope.
“I don’t know whether these young people were arrested for a few days or for a harsher sentence – we don’t know because there is no rule of law, no guidepost in Cuba. We are simply at the mercy of this regime who, for now almost a half century, has brutalized its people with totalitarian rule.”
Here’s a picture of the bracelets worn by the arrested youths and the Senators:
We should all be wearing similar wristbands to support the brave struggle to bring about the long overdue change- “cambio” that is so desperately needed in Cuba.