A group of largely Hispanic protesters organized a peaceful demonstration on Tuesday against the presence of delegations from the communist regimes of Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua in New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly.
The event was the latest in a series of similar peaceful protests in New York over the week against the Cuban communist Castro regime, the Venezuelan socialist Maduro regime, and the Nicaraguan Sandinista Ortega regime.
“The [U.N. General] Assembly is gathering here those who call themselves presidents,” Cuban activist Ana Olema told the outlet Cibercuba. “And we are here in support of the Venezuelans, because this is a chess game – when the Venezuelan regime falls, the Cuban regime falls.”
“Cuba is with Venezuela, with Ukraine, with Colombia, with Nicaragua, so that all countries suffering dictatorship may live in freedom,” she added. Ukraine is currently suffering an ongoing invasion by Russia, a top funder of Latin America’s communist regimes. Colombia elected its first-ever leftist president, Gustavo Petro, in 2022, who has thawed ties to the Maduro regime:
“Freedom for Venezuela, Freedom for Cuba, freedom for our political prisoners,” Cuban activist María Teresa Rafaelly told Martí Noticias. “Let’s keep united, where one falls, all fall.”
Cuban citizens have peacefully protested throughout the week against the presence of the communist Castro regime’s figurehead President Miguel Díaz-Canel on U.S. territory. They have also specifically denounced the communist regime’s repression and its thousand-plus political prisoners.
“It has been unfortunate,” Cuban artist and activist Anamely Ramos said on Monday, adding:
It is very frustrating to see him arrive, to see that they give him the visa, that he is here and the worst thing is that he is going to speak at the United Nations, an organization that receives complaints every month from Cuban civil society of disappearances. forced, arbitrary detentions, torture inside prisons.
Díaz-Canel, who arrived in New York on Sunday, participated in the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday, giving a speech that heavily condemned the United States for its decision not to engage in trade with communist Cuba. According to the Cuban presidency, Díaz-Canel will “hold meetings with representatives of American civil society” during his stay in New York.
The Cuba Decide movement is slated to carry out a new round of peaceful protests and activities to take a stand against the presence of Díaz-Canel in the United Nations on Thursday afternoon.
During Tuesday’s peaceful protest in Times Square, a group of Venezuelan former political prisoners urged the international community to demand that the socialist regime of dictator Nicolás Maduro close its torture centers and release the roughly 300 political prisoners it presently maintains, as well as the release of all political prisoners throughout the region.
During the event, attendees were able to experience a glimpse into the Helicoide (“the Helix”), an unfinished facility built in the 1950s, which would have become the first drive-through mall in the world. The Helicoide now serves as one of the socialist Maduro regime’s most infamous political prison and torture centers.
Through the use of virtual reality headsets, attendees were able to witness how a Venezuelan political prisoner was tortured and heard his screams of agony, which were recorded with another detainee’s phone, as well as the gut-wrenching testimonies of political prisoners now living in exile:
Trailer del documental “El Helicoide” sobre la tortura en Venezuela, que será exhibido en Times Square, NYC, mientras se reúne la Asamblea General de la ONU. pic.twitter.com/qSpcTQz9Pt
— freddyzur (@freddyzur) September 19, 2023
“We demand the freedom of the more than 300 political prisoners that today are being tortured in Venezuela, that Nicolas Maduro is torturing in a systematic way in our country,” Venezuelan journalist Víctor Navarro of the Realidad Helicoide project said. “And this does not only stop here. From this moment on we are going to go to any place – be it the government, be it advocacy spaces, be it the decisionmakers – to demand and raise the whole political scene so that Venezuela closes the Helicoide and all the torture centers that exist”:
— Mario Felix Lleonart (@maritovoz) September 20, 2023
On Monday, pro-Castro regime sympathizers attempted to disrupt a group of Cuban exiles who peacefully protested outside the headquarters of the Cuban permanent mission to the United Nations.
“The other group tried to advance towards us to challenge us, it seemed to us that the security forces favored them because they allowed them to get closer to the diplomatic headquarters than us,” exiled Cuban pastor Mario Félix Lleonart told the Spain-based Diario de Cuba outlet. “These people were shouting but without passion, unlike us who were shouting from our experiences of pain.”
The Freedom House organization opened an exposition this week in New York titled “Silenced Voices,” which showcases the testimony of women who have been subject to repression in Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua.
The Maduro and Ortega regimes are slated to participate in the U.N. General Assembly later this week. Neither regime has yet publicly confirmed the composition of their respective delegations.
Christian K. Caruzo is a Venezuelan writer and documents life under socialism. You can follow him on Twitter here.