The Terror of Decades of Human Rights Violations in Cuba

To me, the way to approach this issue, is to see that in Cuba subtle and underhanded repression has been the main instrument in carrying out systematic human rights violations by the Havana regime against peaceful opponents and the population

Although it is true that the first period of human rights violations in Cuba took place after the approval of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, 1948, once the dictator Fidel Castro came to power through an armed insurrection in 1959, these violations rose to another level.

A new era of terror began with the so-called revolutionary trials. Even though these were cleverly disguised under a cloak of legality by the nascent regime of the Castro brothers and had the support of a majority of the poor, the result was that thousands of Cubans, mostly dissidents, along with ex-combatants from the Sierra Maestra and the Escambray, were assassinated by firing squad. This was done without offering any kind of legal process, let alone a defense, as should exist by right in any situation and in any place. 

After the purge against anyone who opposed him and the collaborators of the former Fulgencio Batista regime, the way was now clear for Castro to establish a Stalinist regime and thus guarantee his power in perpetuity. The next step was attacking the democratic pillars, by ending the separation of powers and taking over companies and private property, which basically meant taking over the economy and the political institutions of the country. Officially, Fidel Castro was already completely in power up to the mid-70s when he served as the “prime minister,” until he replaced the 1940 constitution that had been in force till then with a new Communist one in 1976 and stayed on as the “president” of Cuba.

The application of arbitrary laws such as Law 88, better known as the Gag Law, which resulted in 75 brave Cubans, who had decided to organize themselves to fight peacefully against the regime, to be imprisoned in a single operation, or the law of social dangerousness that has also put thousands of Cubans behind bars, supposedly because they aren’t willing to work for a state-owned company, in a country with a high unemployment rate, are proof of their nefarious intentions. 

To me, the way to approach this issue, is to see that in Cuba subtle and underhanded repression has been the main instrument in carrying out systematic human rights violations by the Havana regime against peaceful opponents and the population. It has been the regime’s main political weapon in its quest to maintain power at all costs. Crimes such as resistance, contempt, disobedience, or an attack against the state, have been commonly used by the illegitimate Cuban authorities to threaten and imprison peaceful opponents throughout the island. With the judiciary completely responsive to the interests of the communist party this basically means prison. And, as the Cubans say, he who fights without an opponent never loses.

Threats, arbitrary detentions, beatings and imprisonment by government agents against peaceful opponents in Cuba are a daily occurrence. Even so, over the more than 60 years of cruel totalitarian dictatorship, there have been several protests that have courageously taken place in various regions of the Cuban archipelago. When one takes into account the immense network of military and paramilitary agents and troops that the regime has, and that the regime does not hesitate for a second to unleash it at any time against anyone, for me these protests are very much worthy of admiration.

Returning to the subject of subtle repression, there have been thousands of Cubans who have been imprisoned during all these years of Stalinism in Cuba, who have been victims of rigged trials, prosecuted for the previously mentioned crimes. For example, if a citizen paints signs calling for an end to communism they are punished for the crime of damages and prejudice, or simply unfairly fined, and if he or she refuses to pay, then they are sent to prison for the non-payment of a fine. If someone opposed to the regime shouts anti-government slogans, it is almost certain that he or she will be punished under the false charge of resistance, or contempt, depending on how the agent in charge sees it at that time. Or like when the State savagely beats someone, they accuse him or her of an attack against authority, to disguise the brutality. The punishments vary between one and eight years of deprivation of liberty, or correctional work with internment, the equivalent of forced labor. Obviously, hearing the result, most likely the accused does not raise any kind of alarm and does not say anything to anyone who might see the situation as it is. But the truth is, the greatest injustices and violations of human rights have been committed through this process. These are some of the countless examples of what they have to live with and face day after day in Cuba, those individuals across the country who courageously decide to publicly and openly confront those who oppress us are met with an iron fist.

Before the passive and permissive gaze of the international community, the government of Havana flagrantly violates the rights of the Cuban people with impunity. The enduring existence of a long list of political prisoners and prisoners of conscience more than proves this.

The Cuban government is one of the biggest human rights violators in the world. If this topic were looked at using another approach, it would be very easy to see why this is the case. The regime’s worn-out discourse, like that of all human right violators like Venezuela and Nicaragua, its unconditional allies that always seek to divert attention from what is really important – is also based on accusing others of what they practice the most, not counting all the verbal diarrhea against the economic embargo of the United States, which they call a blockade, when obviously it is only they that have put in place a blockade against the people themselves, in their sick mentality and in their DNA, the true enemy should be defeated and should not be allowed the slightest respite in matters of political freedoms. To tell the truth, the walls are closing in on them more and more every day, despite all their efforts to prove otherwise, to show themselves as strong before an apparently weak people, and in the face of apparently insufficient opposition. Let us just wait until the population has had enough of the ever-present deficiencies, exacerbated over the last two years, taking into account that it is no longer the same generation that accepted what they like to call the special period. A generation that is irreverent with the internet and social networks, tired of an old discourse that does not guarantee a future, in the short, medium, or long term.


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