Bradenton, Fla — The Libertarian Party of Florida (LPF) has come out denouncing the continued imprisonment of two Libertarian activists in Cuba. According to news reports, Ubaldo Herrera Hernandez and Manuel Velasquez are still being held by Cuban authorities for doing nothing more than promoting that a free market system is best and the Cuban government should be limited in its scope both with Cuban businesses and with Cuban individuals. Officially, the two were charged with “distributing enemy propaganda.” The two individuals were offering smart solutions to some of Cuba’s ailments to help the country grow in a positive direction.
LPF Chair, Char-Lez Braden said today, “The Libertarian Party of Florida, and all free people, find the existence of political prisoners abhorrent and call upon Cuba and all nations with such prisoners to free these folks and stop this practice. State prison facilities should be used only for the incarceration of individuals who have proven themselves a threat to others.”
The LPF strongly encourages the Cuban government to release Hernandez and Velasquez immediately and apologize for their arrest. In addition, the LPF strongly urges the Cuban government to rid itself of all laws which limit Cuban citizens from expressing their opinions in public.
The LPF wants to also point out that this is not a practice found only in communist countries. Just this year, there have been several Americans arrested for doing nothing more than exercising their right of free speech. Earlier this year two students were arrested in Michigan for simply handing out free pocket-sized U.S. Constitutions.
Since their arrest, the two have been moved to Melena II, a maximum security prison in the town of Melena del Sur. The prison has a long history of housing political dissidents, including Andres Fidel Alfonso Rodriguez, a fellow human rights activist, and Du Bouchet Hernández, an independent journalist on the island. As Zachary Foster of the Libertarian Party of Nevada has noted, Melena II has a long history of human rights violations.
The Libertarian Party of Florida values human life and the right of all people to live in peace. All members of the LPF are required to declare “I hereby certify that I do not believe in or advocate the initiation of force as a means of achieving political or social goals” thus putting the LPF far out in front of any other party’s commitment to nonviolent political action.