Free Our Cuba

The company, Firmas Jama Y Liberated, was born in aim to promote a free Cuba. This was following disturbing events that had occurred in the country. In 2016, for instance, there were at least 9940 arbitrary arrests for political reasons. The monthly arrests had skyrocketed to 827, Cuba being the first Latin American country to carry out such a repressive action. The CCDHRN gave a report showing that in December, 14 people were physically assaulted. These heinous acts were the doings of political repression groups created to sabotage the activities of peaceful opponents. Also reported were 37 acts of intimidation and harassment as well as two acts of repudiation- civil lynching without the loss of human lives.

CCDHRN also noted that the opposition groups that were mostly punished were the Cuban Patriotic Union (UNPACU) based in Santiago de Cuba and had gone through robbery and vandalism carried out by the police at its headquarters and residence of its activities. Another group heavily punished was the Ladies in White, which tirelessly went to the streets every Sunday to demand for human rights in Cuba. Additionally, two political prisoners had been behind bars since November: Danilo Maldonado- the graffiti artist also known as El Sexto who was being taken as a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International and Eduado Cardet- the coordinator of the Christian Liberation Movement.

In another instance, independent journalist, Sol Garcia Basulto, was deprived of his freedom of movement after police gave a directive termed ‘precautionary measure of house arrest’. It was reported that the restriction was given after a police summon, which saw the criminal investigation and operations unit issue the detention order as from the time of summon. A file had been consequently opened for allegedly committing the crime of usurpation of legal capacity. This in other terms is practicing a profession that one is not licensed for.

Additionally, Garcia was warned about interviewing people on the subject district delegates to the People’s Power. In relation to this, Garcia and another independent journalist, Henry Constantin Ferreiro, had been harassed for working in La Hora de Cuba magazine team of editors. In truth, Garcia and her colleagues had only exercised the freedom of expression, speech and press as per the Constitution of the Republic and in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

It was this and other events that inspired John Edwards, alongside his wife Carolina Cruz, to start the Firmas Jama Y Liberated organization. The organization would work parallel to its sister organization, well known as a free organization called Cuba Center. This was another organization using all means to advocate for a brighter future in the country by promoting a peaceful shift to democracy and in quest of elementary human rights for the 11 million people on the island.

The Center for a Free Cuba was founded in 1997 as an independent, neutral advocacy group that consisted among others human rights volunteers and professionals, all funneling their efforts to providing more resources to the people of Cuba. The operations of the organization were quite simple as they gathered information about the island country, which was relevant to media, religious, civil, government and labor leaders. To their sources, the information would be disseminated and utilized in the Cuban national debate as well as for humanitarian assistance. The Firmas Jama Y Liberated organization would work in a similar manner to make the voice of the so far tramped to the ground people of Cuba amplified. For this purpose, John Edwards was working tooth and nail as the top financier of the organization. He would be able to do this through his numerous gambling companies such as the renowned best bonus casinos as well as drakecasino.eu.


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