FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JULY 14 2017
HUMAN RIGHTS ORG CALLS ON WHITE HOUSE TO SUPPORT FREEDOM IN NEW CAPTIVE NATIONS
Washington, D.C. – Every third week of July since President Eisenhower signed the 1959 Captive Nations Resolution, the United States officially recognizes the struggle of those nations held captive by communist tyranny.
During this 58th Captive Nations Week, the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOC) calls on the Trump Administration to recognize the struggle for freedom across the world, particularly the struggle of the new captive peoples in Venezuela, Hong Kong, and the occupied territory of Ukraine including Crimea.
VOC Executive Director Marion Smith stated, “While Americans spent much blood and treasure to halt the spread of communism, this totalitarian ideology continues to plague the world with injustice. Today, the territory of the free world is literally shrinking. Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea and occupation of Eastern Ukraine, China’s systematic stripping Hong Kong of its freedom and autonomy, and Maduro’s ruination of Venezuela comprise a solemn reminder that individual liberty and justice are far from inevitable.”
From the famines, purges, and gulags of Soviet Russia to Mao’s Great Leap Forward and the Killing Fields of the Khmer Rouge—from the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre—to the Castro regime’s 2012 murder of Oswaldo Payá—communist regimes have killed more than 100 million people. Countless more suffered and suffer still such as the Cuban dissident Sirley Ávila León who was maimed in a 2015 attack. The free world must demand a moral reckoning for the crimes of these totalitarian regimes.
In June, President Trump said that the United States would no longer be silent in the face of communist oppression. One-fifth of the world’s population still lives under single-party Leninist states in China, Cuba, Laos, North Korea, and Vietnam. Communist parties are also directly responsible for the trampling of freedom in Venezuela and Hong Kong. In the former Soviet Union, Russia’s communist legacy is being used to justify the occupation of Eastern Ukraine including Crimea.
Smith added, “The United States must recognize the struggle of nations currently held captive by communist tyranny. We must recommit to fighting against military occupation, political oppression, communist expansion, and totalitarian brutality—and defend our American ideals of freedom and justice. This is in our national interest.”
For more information or to schedule an interview with Marion Smith, VOC Executive Director, please contact Ayla at [email protected] or 202.629.9500.