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May 17, 2011

Condemning the Death of Juan Wilfredo Soto

[Page: H3230]  GPO's PDF 

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(Mr. SIRES asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute.)

Mr. SIRES. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to condemn the brutal beating and subsequent death of Juan Wilfredo Soto. Last Thursday, Soto, while participating in a peaceful protest against the Castro regime, Cuban authorities beat him so badly that he was later taken to the hospital, where he died.

Soto was a brave man and a respected advocate who helped support the hunger strikes of human rights award winner Guillermo Farinas.

Juan Wilfredo Soto's death is the latest brazen illustration of the violent methods the Castro brothers utilize to oppress freedom in Cuba. In the last 2 months reports of oppression have increased.

As many praised the false promises of the Sixth Communist Party Congress held in Cuba last month, few acknowledged the crackdown on dissidents and journalists that took place. Prior to the congress, Cuban authorities reportedly arrested and detained opposition members to ensure that all voices critical to the regime would be silent and that no protests would be visible.

The United States and the international community must join together in condemning the wrongful death of Juan Wilfredo Soto and supporting human rights on the island. We must show Cuban leaders that their brutality is not going to go unnoticed.

(House of Representatives - May 12, 2011)

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