In response to a request from Cuban civil society and religious leaders a few weeks ago, the Global Liberty Alliance sent a letter of information to ICT industry leaders and U.S. policymakers to raise awareness about alleged weaponization of ICT tools in Cuba. The matter was brought to the Global Liberty Alliance’s attention by a human rights defender and former political prisoner, Mr. Jorge Luis García Pérez (known as “Antúnez”).
In his letter to the Global Liberty Alliance, Antúnez said “social networks, a supposedly independent means that protects the identity and dignity of the people,” are being used by the Cuban government to target them. “Thank you for your interest in the liberty of my country and the defense of the fundamental rights of my people,” Antúnez added.
In the letter to ICT executives and U.S. policymakers Global Liberty Alliance Chief Counsel Jason Poblete said as their and other ICT companies “work to provide ICT goods and services to Cuba, it is important to factor in your compliance programs that Cuba remains a totalitarian police state. In spite of U.S. efforts to normalize relations with Cuba in 2014, Cuba is an island gulag, not a Caribbean paradise.”
You can read Antúnez’s letter here:
Mr. Pérez (a.k.a., “Antúnez”) has been an active member of the Cuban opposition movement for decades. In March 1990, he was sentenced to five years in prison for publicly denouncing the Castro regime, a sentence that was later extended because of his opposition and refusal to submit to the will of his captors. In 2007, after 17 years in the Cuban prison system, Antúnez was finally released and now leads the Orlando Zapata Tamayo National Resistance Front.
Interviews : Jorge Luis Garcia Perez AntúnezFor more information on Antúnez’s story see more of his interviews published as a part of The Freedom Collection, productions by the George W. Bush Presidential Center, here.
Zakka Family Appreciates Continued Support Of The U.S. Government
Yesterday, Secretary of State Michael Pompeo delivered remarks at the Department of State to families of American citizens and U.S Legal Permanent residents held captive abroad. Mr. Omar Zakka, the youngest son of Mr. Nizar Zakka, who last month testified before Congress a second time about his father’s case, was at the State Department for meetings with senior U.S. officials including Secretary of State of Mike Pompeo.
“On behalf of my father and the rest of the Zakka family, I thanked Secretary Pompeo and his team for what they are doing to help bring my dad home. I am confident if Lebanon were to fully help the United States, my father would be home. Lebanon and all parties in a position to do so should follow the example of the Trump administration and help my father,” Omar said.
Mr. Nizar Zakka was in Iran at the invitation of the Iranian government, a guest of the former Vice President Shahindokht Molaverdi. Upon information and belief, Mr. Zakka was unlawfully detained and kidnapped on September 18, 2015, by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC); and it is probable Mr. Zakka’s abduction was orchestrated to coincide on or about September 17, the last day of the U.S. Congressional review period of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
The following press release was issued by Mr. Zakka’s US Attorney following yesterday’s events.
Secretary Pompeo’s remarks can be viewed below.