Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State
Chief of Mission Residence
SECRETARY BLINKEN: Well, thank you all so much for joining us today for this conversation. We have some remarkable colleagues from Nicaragua and Cuba and Venezuela who are all serving as human rights defenders, making sure, to the best of their ability, that people in their countries have a voice despite the governments and regimes that are trying to silence them. And the United States stands in strong solidarity with all of those who are seeking to uphold their basic rights – the rights that are enshrined in the United Nations Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and rights unfortunately that continue to be denied by those governments or regimes.
But no one is doing more to ensure that people have a voice than the people who are here with us today. And I’m just very anxious to hear from them to learn how we can do more, how we can do better in supporting their efforts and supporting the aspirations of people in all three countries to live free and to be able to fulfill their own aspirations.
So with that, I’m anxiously looking forward to hearing from each of you, and we appreciate you being here for (inaudible).