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Canada condemns the "harsh sentences" against the 9/11 protesters in Cuba

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Canada condemns the "harsh sentences" against the 9/11 protesters in Cuba

(EFE) Human rights organizations have requested.

The Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs told EFE that it has transmitted “to the highest levels” of the Cuban regime its concern about the repression against protesters, journalists and activists and that it condemns the “harsh sentences” of the 9/11 protesters, of up to 13 years in prison, according to the ruling leaked this month.

“Canada will continue to raise its concerns about human rights violations with Cuban officials,” the spokeswoman for the Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sabrina Williams, told EFE.

Williams also confirmed that senior Canadian officials have met with the NGO Democratic Spaces, which on November 14 requested Ottawa, along with the Cuba Decide organization, to sanction Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel, as well as senior officials and regime entities for human rights violations.

The spokeswoman did not indicate whether Canada would sanction the Cuban regime, but added that the Canadian government considers it important “to provide a voice to human rights defenders and better understand their concerns, also to express them to Cuban officials.”

Michael Lima, a human rights activist and director of Democratic Spaces, said he has detected a change in mentality among Canadian authorities.

Michael Lima, human rights activist and director of Democratic Spaces, confirmed to EFE that he met on November 16 with senior officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and said that, although Ottawa has not announced sanctions against the regime, it has detected a change of mentality in the Canadian authorities.

“We are satisfied that Canada understands that Cuba is a dictatorship, one of the oldest in the world, and that there needs to be justice. I liked seeing the change of mentality in Canadian government officials who understand that in Cuba there are violations of human rights systematically,” he said.

Lima blamed the different attitude of Canada towards countries like Venezuela, Nicaragua or Iran, to which Ottawa has applied sanctions similar to those requested against Cuba, due to the lack of information on what is happening in that last country.

“We are asking for uniformity in (Canadian) foreign policy,” he explained.

The director of Democratic Spaces considered that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “admires” the Cuban regime for the friendship that his father, Pierre Trudeau, who ruled Canada on two occasions, first from 1968 to 1979 and later from 1980 to 1984, had with Fidel Castro.

“And if the prime minister has that position, it influences the formulation of foreign policy,” he said.

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