On Thursday Congressman Rivera, Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-21) and Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-18) held a press conference calling for the unconditional release of Yris Tamara Perez Aguilera, wife of Jorge Luis Garcia Perez "Antunez", Donaida Perez Paseiro, Yaimara Reyes Mesa and all prisoners of conscience in Cuba.
Perez Aguilera, Perez Paseiro, Reyes Mesa and other activists were detained and brutally beaten by the Castro regime on September 26th when they requested information on the status of political prisoners from Cuba's main State Security office.
Congressman Rivera made the following statement at the press conference:
"For nearly three years, the Obama Administration has been sending signals to the Castro dictatorship trying to achieve closer relations and trying to achieve reforms in Cuba. Those signals have been basically unilateral concessions to the Castro dictatorship.
"We have seen, during those same three years, the signals that the Cuban dictatorship is sending back to the United States, to the Obama Administration and to the world. Those signals have been more repression, more lack of human rights, more denial of civil liberties. Now we are seeing the ultimate signal in the last weeks and months, which is this crackdown, this wave of repression that has gone on across the island.
"This is an opportunity for the world, for international organizations, for the United States, for the Obama Administration, to send a real signal back that this is unacceptable to the civilized community. The behavior of the Castro dictatorship toward these brave opposition leaders, these brave dissidents, these brave human rights leaders is completely unacceptable.
"They can send that signal--whether it be the OAS, or the United Nations, or the Obama Administration--send the signal back, particularly this country that has always stood for freedom and human rights and democracy. It is time to tell the Castro dictatorship; no more unilateral concessions, what is going on in Cuba is completely unacceptable."