Supporting Cuban Human Rights Defenders
FHRC has dedicated itself to providing the necessary aid and provisions to human rights defenders, civic activists, and prisoners of conscience and their families, in order to support their efforts in Cuba. Since its inception, FHRC has sent Cuban Civil Society hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of:
- Communications equipment – Computers, cell phones, USBs, DVD players (and instructional DVDs, cameras, video cameras, and other related communications equipment
- Support for activism – Training materials, cameras, campaign t-shirts
- Provisions – Food, medicine, hygiene products, and clothing
- Remittances – Direct cash assistance for individual human rights defenders and human rights organizations in Cuba
Hurricane & Disaster Relief
FHRC had provided and will continue to provide the Cuban people with hurricane and disaster relief. In 2008, during a very active hurricane season, Hurricane Ike caused severe damage to Cuba and its infrastructure. FHRC mobilized a massive assistance campaign that collected and then distributed over $200,000 in direct cash aid to hurricane victims over a three-day period.
On a more regular basis, FHRC distributes humanitarian aid and support, such as nonperishable food items, medicine, blankets/clothing, and other basic necessities to support Cuban human rights defenders and their communities.
FHRC uses its expertise, experience, and network to create and sustain awareness regarding the efforts of brave human rights defenders in Cuba. FHRC works to raise awareness by providing updates on its website, conducting media and community outreach campaigns, and collaborating with NGOs inside Europe, Latin America and the United States.
FHRC has acted as a delegate in the United Nations Human Rights Commission and participates in international conferences including the CIVICUS World Assembly, in which FHRC’s leaders call for international solidarity with Cuba’s human rights defenders and members of Civil Society.
FHRC has more recently partnered with the Lech Walesa Institute, a Polish organization founded by Nobel Laureate Lech Walesa, in order to give Cuban human rights defenders to Poland first-hand experience regarding the Solidarity Movement and Polish transition.
FHRC has undertaken these and other initiatives to ensure international public opinion is aware of the efforts of Cuban human rights defenders and hold the Cuban regime accountable for its actions. By doing so, FHRC provides a level of protection against the Cuban regime’s repression and propaganda by focusing international attention on human rights violations in Cuba. FHRC has detailed hundreds of cases where the regime has harassed, detained, abused, and imprisoned individuals for simply exercising their most basic human and civil rights or simply because the regime finds an individual to possess an ability for “dangerousness.”