Cuba: Human Rights Day

Today is International Human Rights Day – an annual reminder of the day on which the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights back in 1948. Sixty years later, Cuban bloggers (particularly from the diaspora) remain vocal about the many human rights abuses that plague the island of their birth.

Babalu Blog, in a post titled “(Violation of) Human Rights Day in Cuba”, says:

The Cuban regime has begun its celebration of Human Rights Day the only it way it knows how, by violating every right in the 60 year old United Nations declaration.

The celebrations began on Monday, with a wave of arrests and threats against Cuban Human Rights activists aimed at preventing Cubans from commemorating the 60th anniversary of the UN's declaration of Human Rights.

He goes on to cite six separate cases of people being detained or threatened. Fellow blogger Uncommon Sense also relates a story of dissidents being arrested in Havana:

More than 20 Cuban dissidents — including the journalist Guillermo Fariñas and former political prisoner Jorge Luis García Pérez (Antúnez) — were arrested this week, apparently to prevent them from participating in events marking International Human Rights Day.

Nonetheless, Sánchez and other dissidents have vowed to go forth with planned events to commemorate today's 60th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. As long as the Castro dictatorship is in power, however, rights outlined in the declaration are far less than universal.

As if to emphasize his point, Babalu takes “a look back at the status of Human Rights in Cuba over the years”, adding:

Witness yesterday's brutality against peaceful activists, and you can see there has been no change in Cuba's treatment of its citizens. The repression continues under the leadership of raul castro.

Uncommon Sense agrees that Human Rights Day is “nothing to celebrate in Cuba”:

Unfortunately for the Cuban people, the Castro dictatorship…is not taking a holiday from its schedule of oppression and repression.

But unfortunately for the Castro dictatorship, it cannot skip today on the calendar.

The more people who today remember the message of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and advocate for its application on the island of Cuba, the sooner the day of the dictatorship's demise will come.

Meanwhile, Penultimos Dias (ES) takes a long, hard look (though the use of photos and video) at how far Cuba still has to go before its citizens can benefit from the rights and freedoms that are celebrated today.

Sunrise in Havana shares a message from a Cuban compatriot whose “only crime [was] to have the audacity to think and speak freely”:

Throughout the last fifty years, in our beloved Country the basic rights that all human beings should have, have been insulted and trampled and at the same time anyone that has had the strength to defend those rights has been subdued without scruples…it's heartbreaking to see a nation destroyed.

As a Cuban who loves freedom, I will always be committed, with all inside Cuba, with the intention of defending the values and rights of our countrymen in the Island.

Hurray for the 10th of December and Hurray for Human Rights…

Finally, Babalu posts a PDF file that “relates the accomplishments of Guy Perez Cisneros, Cuban Ambassador to the United Nations and co-Chair of the committee responsible for the creation and discussion of the Declaration among the United Nations delegates” – and the irony is not lost on him:

While a Cuban was at the creation of this document, it is the Cuban regime on the island that is doing its level best to make a mockery of its noble goals and language. Irony indeed.


  • luke weyland

    Tiny Cuba with its 11 million people, remains under a US imposed 46 year old siege. US is determined to use every means possible to overthrow its leadership short of launching another invasion. Lift the blockade now . Close down Radio Marti, end US funding of groups wanting to violently overthrow the island government – and ban them as the terrorists they are. Then legitimate Cuban protest groups will have the chance to have their voices heard without being accused of being stooges from lands beyond their shores.

  • Rick Viera

    As long as the dictatorial regime led by the Castro’s and the rest of their hand picked cohorts exist there will be no chance for change in their treatment of those Cubans seeking their Human Rights and freedom. I would hope that my people gain relief from their oppression at the regime’s hand be it by easing of some of the embargoes rules related to familial travel and monetary support for relatives, but not by contributing to the Castro government’s coffers.

  • Davidoff

    Very interesting report.
    I have a few question, rather than comments:
    1. Are ALL the human rights violated in Cuba. If you say yes, please read more about Cuba, from all kind of sources, or better, visit Cuba. That will help you learn the Good and the Bad, not just the Bad, that seems to populate those blogs.
    2. Are ALL human rights respected everywhere else? Let’s take for example USA: Just recently the government, with the help of phone companies, decided that it was correct to violate the privacy of American citizens…Which of those blogs have said anything about violation of Human Rights in other countries, “democratic and free” countries?
    3. Isn’t it a Human Right violation that I can’t visit my family, only once every 3 years, because of an American law? Search into that too, and blog about it. I am having a baby this year, if it is God’s will, and my parents in Cuba will not see my son or daughter for 3 years.
    4. Decades of politics and stupidity in both sides (USA and Cuba) have made Cuban people suffer. Isn’t it time that this war (yes, wars are not always fought with guns) ends? Lift the embargo, and then the Cuban government won’t have the same old excuse/ lie.
    5. I am not supporting the Cuban government, but this problem, as anything in life, is not black and white, read, visit places, talk to people, and try to see all the sides of the story.

  • Rick Viera

    When my grandmothers were ill & dying it was Fidel’s gov. that kept me from being at their bedsides, not the USA.

  • […] as to how Barack Obama could respond to the US/Cuban embargo (among other issues, such as human rights abuses on the island), popular Cuban blogger Generation Y prefers instead to look forward: Men succeed […]

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