We reiterate our call on the Cuban Government, echoing foreign leaders and even Cuba’s allies, to release Alan Gross immediately and unconditionally.
Office of the Spokesperson, December 2, 2013
A Courageous Cuban Blogger

Yoani Sanchez, winner of the 2011 Secretary’s International Women of Courage award, meets with Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Tara Sonenshine and Acting Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues Sharon Wiener at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., on March 20, 2013. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

About the Author: Tara D. Sonenshine serves as Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs.

Almost every day, I have the opportunity to meet women who refuse to let restrictive environments hinder their determination to demand the same rights, opportunities, and futures as any person.

This week, one of those women was Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez, one of many voices across the global blogosphere advocating freedom of expression, human rights, and dignity for all citizens. Through her blog “ Generacion Y (Generation Y) ” Ms. Sanchez regularly provides her followers with deep and penetrating insights about life in her country.

Generacion Y currently receives 12 million hits a month and is translated into 21 languages. Her Twitter feed has more than 450,000 followers. Ms. Sanchez always maintains a respectful tone because — in her words — she… more »

Scores of Cuban Democracy Activists Detained on the Eve of Human Rights Day

Press Statement
Victoria Nuland
Department Spokesperson
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
December 10, 2012

We are deeply concerned by the Cuban Government’s repeated use of arbitrary detention and violence to silence critics, disrupt peaceful assembly, and intimidate independent civil society.

We understand that across Cuba, 94 members of the peaceful pro-democracy group - The Ladies in White - were reportedly beaten and detained on December 9. Just ahead of Human Rights Day, the women had used their weekly gathering, church attendance, and peaceful march to focus attention on continued human rights abuses in Cuba.

We call on the Cuban Government to end the increasingly common practice of arbitrary and extrajudicial detentions, and we look forward to the day when all Cubans can freely express their ideas, assemble freely, and express their opinions peacefully.

Alan Gross Begins Fourth Year of Unjust Imprisonment

Press Statement
Mark C. Toner
Deputy Spokesperson
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
December 3, 2012

Tomorrow Alan Gross will begin his fourth year of unjustified imprisonment in Cuba. He was arrested on December 3, 2009 and later given a 15-year prison sentence by Cuban authorities for simply facilitating communications between Cuba’s Jewish community and the rest of the world.

Mr. Gross is a 63-year-old husband, father, and dedicated professional with a long history of providing assistance and support to underserved communities in more than 50 countries.

Since his arrest, Mr. Gross has lost more than 100 pounds and suffers from severe degenerative arthritis that affects his mobility, and other health problems. His family is anxious to evaluate whether he is receiving appropriate medical treatment, something that can best be determined by having a doctor of his own choosing examine him.

We continue to ask the Cuban Government to grant Alan Gross’s request to travel to the United States to visit his 90-year-old mother, Evelyn Gross, who is gravely ill. This is a humanitarian issue.

The Cuban government should release Alan Gross and return him to his family, where he belongs.