Sens. Marco Rubio and Robert Menendez have issued a joint statement regarding the Castro regime's incarceration of Cuban democracy advocate Ivonne Malleza Galano.
Malleza Galano was detained on Nov. 30, 2011, for staging a peaceful protest at a Havana park, according to a press release.
She is now confined to the notorious maximum security Manto Negro prison. She is a part of the Ladies in White (Damas de Blanco), who are a group of female relatives of former prisoners of conscience and current political prisoners. They organize peaceful marches where they distribute flowers and call for the release of those who are still detained.
According to an Amnesty International press release dated in December 2011, relatives were allowed to visit Malleza Galano and her husband, Ignacio Martínez Montejo, who also was arrested.
They were told by staff at the Alternative Center for Processing Detainees that Malleza Galano and Martínez Montejo are being accused of public disorder and could be investigated for up to 60 days.
The protest, according to Amnesty International, was against hunger and poverty, and they were holding a banner with the slogan "Stop hunger, misery and poverty in Cuba." Malleza was handcuffed and pushed into a police vehicle.
Here is the joint statement by senators Menendez and Rubio:
"The unjust detention of pro-democracy leader and member of the Ladies in White, Ivonne Malleza Galano, her husband Ignacio Martínez Montejo and activist Isabel Hayde Alvarez Mosqueda for staging a peaceful protest in supporting freedom for the Cuban people, once again highlights the abuses of civil and human rights taking place just ninety miles from America's shores. The unrelenting tyranny of the Castro brothers' regime led to more than 3,500 political arrests in 2011. We urge the United States and the world community to demand their immediate release; to recognize the abundant abuses of human and civil rights on the island; and to adopt reforms that politically and economically isolate, rather than sustain, this repressive regime."
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