The Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation expresses its deep indignation and concern about the operation of "social cleansing" that the government of Cuba has developed in recent days in three major cities, and, according to our estimates, has had as a result the internment of thousands of beggars, panhandlers, people in rags, the mentally ill and other wandering homeless, mostly elder people without a home.
This "social cleansing" aims to put hide these people from the view of pilgrims, foreign journalists and other visitors who will be in Cuba these days because of the presence in our country of His Holiness Pope Francis.
The CCDHRN believes these detentions, guided by the secret political police and approved at the highest levels of government, are unacceptable and have been executed without a warrant and without disclosing the whereabouts of the poor people detained in the operation, which has developed in the cities of Havana, Holguin and Santiago de Cuba, where Masses will place along with mass meetings with Pope Francis.
With this public statement we ask the Holy Father himself, as a gesture of mercy by the government of Cuba, request the immediate release of all the beggars detained in Cuba on the occasion of his visit taking into account the illegal nature of this "cleansing operation," and knowing that the poor and most vulnerable are among Pope Francis' favorite people, they should be especially well protected by society and the state.
Havana, September 18, 2015
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