Remarks to women civil society leaders in Cuba

Remarks to women civil society leaders in Cuba

Chargé d’ Affaires Mara Tekach

Chief of Mission Residence

March 9, 2020

Welcome to the United States Embassy’s commemoration of women civil society leaders in Cuba, heroines who personify the democratic values critical to a vibrant social order.

As a matter of policy, the United States firmly believes that all people have the right to live in dignity. All citizens have the right to equal opportunity, to flourish socially and prosper economically, for themselves, their families and their successive generations.

We embrace the notion that a civil society of watchful eyes and loud voices can serve as a catalyst for a strong economy, an accountable government, and a tradition of tolerance that respects a diversity of viewpoints.

Fearless leaders protect and defend those diverse viewpoints.  They don’t recoil.  They don’t suppress.

Civil society leaders like those of you here today demand a credible constitution representative of the Cuban people, not orchestrated by a select few of a ruling party, but mindful of opposition voices and minority opinions.

By your deeds, you have demonstrated a profound respect for even the most underrepresented in Cuban society.  Through your actions, you defend the victims of repression and amplify their voices when they are targeted, knowing that in doing so, you put yourself at risk as well.

You recognize that your united voices make you stronger.  The United States will continue to support you in your efforts.

We understand that civil society leaders must be able to count on a credible judicial system based in the rule of law and not subject to the whims of a select few.  In a democracy, there is no room for incidents of arbitrary arrest and detention.  In a democracy, there are no de facto home arrests. No regulados.

Civil society leaders in a democracy enjoy freedom of movement, freedom of assembly and freedom of expression.   As the United States’ representative in Cuba, I pledge my ongoing support for Cuba’s vibrant civil society as we all work in concert toward a better Cuba.