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Havana in 2015. (Photo: Justin Clayton).

N.J. Legislative Latino Caucus stands behind Cuban protestors

By Ashley Gallagher, July 20 2021 7:02 pm

The New Jersey Legislative Latino Caucus issued a strong statement of support for leaders of a movement to protest the communist dictatorship in Cuba and in solidarity with people who have hope for freedom in the near future.

“For more than half a century, the Cuban people have been clamoring for freedom, from a totalitarian system of rule that has produced nothing but injustice and economic ruin,” the caucus said on Tuesday.  “Now, for the first time in many years and during one of the world’s most devastating public health crises in centuries, the Cuban people are united in protest and opposition to their government.”

Ten New Jersey lawmakers are members of the caucus: State Sens. Nellie Pou (D-North Haledon), Teresa Ruiz (D-Newark), Nilsa Cruz-Perez (D-Barrington), Assemblywomen Annette Chaparro (D-Hoboken), Angelica Jimenez (D-West New York), Yvonne Lopez (D-Perth Amboy), Gabriela Mosquera (D-Gloucester City), Eliana Pintor-Marin (D-Newark) and Annette Quijano (D-Elizabeth), and Assemblyman Pedro Mejia (D-Secaucus).

The legislators said that “the Cuban people have suffered for decades under a repressive government, limiting the basic freedoms and democratic values we hold dear, and now more than ever, the Cuban people need our help and support.”

The protests began in cities and towns across Cuba earlier month.

“Here in New Jersey, the Cuban expatriate community has come out in unison to demonstrate to the island that we join their movement in solidarity. We also condemn the rampant violence, widening hunger, and continuing harm brought on by this regime,” the Latino Caucus said. “To the thousands who continue to protest daily despite fear of retaliation, arrest, or even death, we stand with you in calling for justice and societal change.”

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