HAVANA, Cuba, (wwww.cubanet.org) – The Cuban government has recently promoted its decision to sign a series of pacts with the United Nations. The commitments covered are in areas as sensitive as can be – civil law, along with political, cultural and social rights. The most extraordinary thing about this event was that nothing has been spread around regarding what these documents mean inside Cuba. As a result, the people don’t know what the Cuban government has signed and how it will affect them.
Cuba has been a signatory of the Universal Declaration of the Human Rights since 1948. Nevertheless, there are hundreds of activists imprisoned for defending the letter and the spirit of this document. Furthermore, neither the Cuban state controlled media, nor any government officials, have clarified what impact the singing these new agreements will have on daily life on the island.
The new pacts seem like censored material or for future censorship. Perhaps we find ourselves in the dawn of another new wave of arrests classified as “fraternal beat-downs” for trying to bring to light what the Cuban government has agreed to and hidden from the public. Officially, the government has not said a word about the content of what was signed and this in itself is very significant.
Journalist Rose Miriam Elizalde conducted an interview with one of the youths that quizzed the President of the National Assembly, which was published in Granma’s digital edition. Nothing was in the tabloid version available to the people, not even a mention of the topic. All appeared normal in the government’s handling and obscuring of the truth.
In another instance, the decree allowing the sale of an extensive range of electric goods to the population, including computers and cell phones, was also realized only in the digital form of Granma for foreigners. It pretended that the people, denied free access to internet, would remained in the dark about this, like so much other information. However, less than 48 hours after the government made a calculated proclamation about this new measures, the people were already making comments on the streets. The best one being why “do these people hide the ball?”
The answer is simple. The government knows that it wasn’t the promotion of perestroika that put an end to communism in the old Soviet Union. What finished it was glasnost, period. It is exactly this type of informational transparency that the Castrist regime fears.
The first thing that should be required from the Cuban government, through the pressure from those European external factors that are accompanying the Cuban regime in its difficult process of transition to a more adequate form of government, is simply transparency.
These forces say loud and clear that the people have the right to know. We refer to “European external factors,” because the regime does not respect the Cuban people. Also, as a result of the unfeasibility of the government’s economic direction, it has placed itself in the difficult and shameful position of having to accept what never they would have accepted in the past. All for the sake of preserving support for the future and potential leaders that are holding up their absurd system.
The secret pacts should stop being secret and the “liberalizing measures” that the government adopts should be given to the population in due time and in the right form, the immediacy is required everywhere. There should be no restrictions on access to such information.
The students of the University of Computer Sciences (UCI) and of the ‘Brothers Martínez Tamayo’ School of Intelligence and Counter-Intelligence, who download internet works of this type, read them and distribute them among themselves, have an incentive to question like friends the next bureaucrat visiting them.
The secret internet users that check websites with Cuban themes, who download, print and distribute the “hottest” pieces point towards future demands. We have already had enough of the excessive secrecy and of the secret agreements being made behind the backs of the people. Now is the moment for transparency.