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10 years after the Cuban Black Spring and on occasion of Cuba’s Universal Periodic Review in Geneva
March 18, 2013
To mark the tenth anniversary of the crackdown in Cuba, which resulted in the arrest of 75 peaceful dissidents and concerning the execution of three Cubans who, without causing injury to others, hijacked a boat with the intention to emigrate, the Puente Democratico Program of the Center for the Opening and Development of Latin America (CADAL) publishes the communication appropriately directed to Civil Society Section at the UN Human Rights Council with regards to the Universal Periodic Review of Cuba to be held during the month of May
 

To mark the tenth anniversary of the crackdown in Cuba, which resulted in the arrest of 75 peaceful dissidents and concerning the execution of three Cubans who, without causing injury to others, hijacked a boat with the intention to emigrate, the Puente Democratico Program of the Center for the Opening and Development of Latin America (CADAL) publishes the communication appropriately directed to Civil Society Section at the UN Human Rights Council with regards to the Universal Periodic Review of Cuba to be held during the month of May:

"This letter aims to present objective elements to show that the legal and institutional system of the Republic of Cuba expressly violate the provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Indeed, it is possible to analyze certain aspects of Cuban political order through the study of their institutional and legal framework, to conclude that since its fundamental institutions, the content of its laws and the interpretation given by the courts, the Cuban regime is organized on the basis of the supremacy of the state over basic human rights, and frequently violates its own interests of the government.

Specifically, we refer to the way in which these fundamental rights are violated by the institutional and legal system of Cuba, and the case law of the people's courts through: 1) The supremacy of the purposes of the State for the fundamental rights of man; 2) Concentration of power of state organs; 3) The lack of independent and impartial justice; 4) Severe injury to personal liberty; 5) The restrictions on property rights and state control of economic activity; 6) The constitutional barrier against freedom of opinion, information and news; 7) The restrictions on the freedoms of association, assembly and petition; 8) The management of education as a tool of propaganda and social control; and 9) The restrictions on the right to enter and leave the country.

The above considerations on the legal and institutional system of Cuba are based on their constitutions of 1976 and 1992, the Criminal Code, the law 88/99, and judicial rulings primarily by people's courts.

From reading of the legal texts in force mentioned in Cuba, one can see that its internal regulations is contrary to the provisions of the following articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 17, 19, 20, 21, 23, 26, 28, 29 y 30.

Now, having adopted its constitution a closed political system and single party rule, the violation of human rights in Cuba irrefutably is shown in the following articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

Article 19: Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Article 20: (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.

Article 21: (1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives. (2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country. (3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.

As it can be seen from a reading of Articles 19, 20 and 21 of the Universal Declaration and the provisions of Cuba's internal regulations, the Cuban state expressly violates political freedoms and thus prevents its people to express, organize and choose their representatives democratically.

For the reasons stated, the Puente Democratico Program Of CADAL encourages democratic countries to adopt a strong stance against the Cuban regime during the interactive dialogue of its Universal Periodic Review. It is also expected that in the UPR of Cuba many democratic countries implement international commitment to human rights proclaimed in the official websites of their respective foreign ministries.