Michael Lima Cuadra, the director of a pro-democracy organization called Democratic Spaces, posted a video to his Twitter account Saturday in which he and former NBA player Enes Kanter Freedom honored the first anniversary of anti-Communist protests that swept across Cuba on July 11, 2021.
Cuadra shared a video via his Twitter account on July 9 with the following caption:
#Cuba @EnesFreedom, a larger than life #humanrights activist & NBA star in an INSPIRING message to the people of CUBA on the 1st #11J anniv. “STAND UP for what is right/Cuba will be FREE” To the regime “Enough is enough You will FALL like every dictatorship” @RosaMariaPaya
🇺#Cuba @EnesFreedom, a larger than life #humanrights activist & NBA star in an INSPIRING message to the people of CUBA on the 1st #11J anniv.
📢”STAND UP for what is right/Cuba will be FREE”
To the regime “Enough is enough
You will FALL like every dictatorship”@RosaMariaPaya pic.twitter.com/RzE47ql0Pn
— Michael Lima Cuadra 🇺🇺 (@ngotranslations) July 9, 2022
“I’m here with Enes Kanter letting him know about repression in Cuba, about the suppression of the people there, about the thousand political prisoners,” Cuadra said in an accompanying video clip.
“And I’m also speaking with him about the first anniversary of the July 11 protests. And he would like to send a message of support for the people of Cuba in their demand for liberty and democracy,” Cuadra continued.
“You know, first of all, I want to say, it’s been 63 years and enough is enough. People need to do something about this. There have been so many human rights violations, political prisoners, and innocent people are losing their loved ones, losing their lives, and losing their homes,” Kanter Freedom said in the video.
“And brutal dictatorship in Cuba, you know, my message to you is, you’re going to fall like every dictatorship out there in the world,” he continued.
“To all my Cuban brothers and sisters out there, stay strong, stand for what’s right, and you are on the right side of the history. So never ever give up on your dreams. Cuba will be free one day,” Kanter Freedom added.
Cuadra tagged Rosa Maria Payá’s Twitter handle when posting the video clip to his Twitter page on July 9. Payá, like Cuadra, advocates for human rights in Cuba. Cuadra heads Democratic Spaces, which is an organization that “seeks solidarity in Canada with those inside Cuba who are leading the peaceful struggle for democracy, freedom, rule of law and inclusion,” according to its website.
Cuba’s July 11, 2021, protest movement witnessed tens of thousands of people march nationwide to demand an end to the country’s decades-long Communist regime. The crowds called for the ouster of Cuba’s oppressive communist dictatorship, which has caused the nation to descend into financial and social ruin since it seized control of the Caribbean island in the early 1960s.
“Nearly every city in Cuba experienced a wave of peaceful marches — followed by brutal beatings, torture, and in-home shootings of suspected protesters — across the island. Dissident groups estimate that about 187,000 people joined the call to end the 63-year-old Communist Party rule in Cuba that day,” Breitbart News recalled of Cuba’s July 11, 2021, pro-democracy movement on Monday.
Kanter Freedom posted an additional video to his own Twitter account on July 11 to honor Cuba’s protest anniversary.
63 years of Dictatorship
63 years of Censorship
63 years of Repression
63 years of Modern-Day Slavery
63 years of Broken Families
63 years of Exporting Repression to the Region
Cubans have been suffering for far too long.
— Enes FREEDOM (@EnesFreedom) July 11, 2022
Kanter Freedom is a member of an Islamic movement in Turkey called “Hizmet,” which is directed by a Pennsylvania-based Muslim cleric named Fethullah Gülen. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan blames Gülen, who is a former Erdoğan ally, for a failed effort to oust Erdoğan from power in 2016.
Following the unsuccessful coup, Erdoğan ordered Turkish authorities to purge any parties suspected of involvement in the operation, including government officials, soldiers, and judges. The mass persecution affected more than 100,000 people, some of whom were fired from their jobs, detained by police, or indiscriminately penalized for alleged affiliation with Gülen.
Turkey’s federal government considers Hizmet a terrorist organization and has officially designated the group as the “Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETO).” Turkish authorities have charged Kanter Freedom with alleged acts of “terrorism” due to his membership in Hizmet.