WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas

Cuba’s Humanitarian Crisis

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, Cuba has been wracked by chronic and widespread shortages of essential goods, including food and medicine. On July 11, 2021, public frustration over the dire economic situation spilled onto the streets and was met with harsh repression by Cuban authorities. This economic crisis has triggered the largest wave of emigration from the island since the 1959 revolution. While the Cuban government has taken modest steps to reform the economy, including recognizing some private property and legalizing private enterprises, there have also been concerning developments, such as retaining the death penalty in the new penal code and further restrictions on free press and dissent. WOLA collaborates with advocacy organizations to call on policymakers in the U.S. and Cuba to prioritize addressing the urgent humanitarian concerns of the Cuban people.