The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has continued closely monitoring the way in which the human rights situation in Cuba has developed since January 1994. Since the publication of the 1993 Annual Report there have been a number of events and occurences requiring special attention.
In this connection, the IACHR has drawn on various sources in preparing this report. It has taken into account the complaints filed against the Cuban Government, and has also incorporated the pertinent portions of various affidavits submitted to the Commission, and lastly it has taken into consideration information provided by numerous nongovernmental human rights organizations.
As a result, the information gathered by the IACHR during the period covered by this report leads it to believe that the human rights situation in Cuba is still extremely serious. The fact is that the deterioration in living conditions, the repressive control exercised by the State through the security agencies against individuals and groups who differ with the regime and the extreme economic difficulties that the Cuban people are suffering caused --in the course of 1994-- a mass exodus of persons who put out to sea on makeshift rafts in search of new horizons, despite the fact that they were taking their lives in their hands by so doing.
Once again, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights expresses its deep concern about the lack of civil and political rights and the continuous deterioration of economic, social and cultural rights.
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THE RIGHT OF FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
One of the most serious violations of human rights and that occurs in Cuba, is violation of the right to freedom of expression. Article IV of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man states that:
"Every person has the right to freedom of investigation, of opinion, and of the expression and dissemination of ideas, by any medium whatsoever."
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has referred to the exercise of these freedoms on numerous occasions, and, as part of its legal doctrine, views their absence as a cause that "contributes to failure to respect the other human rights". The Commission has also condemned the use of various methods of intimidating the information media, together with different measures that could bring the press into a situation of dependence on the Government for inputs or basic operating requirements.
The IACHR also considers the communication media to be legitimate "vehicles for political thought" and has always stressed the need to avoid any type of legal text that creates "crimes of opinion", rejecting any system that implies a monopoly of management of the mass media.
The legal context of the right to freedom of expression in Cuba is defined by article 53 of the country's Political Constitution, which provides:
Citizens are allowed freedom of speech and press in accordance with the purposes of the communist society. The material conditions for exercise of this freedom are provided by the fact that the press, radio, television, cinema and other mass communication media are state or social property and in no case may be privately owned, which thereby ensures that they will be used in the exclusive service of the working people and in the interest of society. The Law regulates the exercise of these freedoms.
As will be noted, the Cuban Constitution subordinates the exercise of freedom of expression to "the purpose of the communist society." This means that it is not the State whose action is limited vis-a-vis the rights of persons, but on the contrary, persons' rights are limited vis-a-vis the purposes pursued by the state.
This article of the Constitution has already been analyzed by the IACHR in
its Seventh Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Cuba. On that
occasion it observed that the article in question "also seeks to guarantee
exercise of the right to freedom of expression by stating that the
material conditions for its exercise derive from state ownership of the
communication media, which in no case may be privately owned, a
circumstance that ensures that they will be used exclusively in the
service of the working people and in the interest of society (...). The
Constitution resorts here, once again, to a doctrinaire profession of
faith: the State
It is evident that the exercise of the right to freedom of expression under this article of the Constitution is governed by two fundamental determinants: on the one hand, the preservation and strengthening of the communist State; on the other, the need to muzzle any criticism of the group in power.
In this stage of the analysis, it must be underscored that this article of the Constitution is inextricably intertwined with certain provisions of the Cuban Criminal Code which define any exercise of the right to freedom of expression that is not in line with the purposes of the communist State as an offense. Article 103 of the Criminal Code in fact provides:
1. Any person who:
a) incites against the social order, international solidarity or the communist State, by means of oral or written propaganda or in any other way;
b) prepares, distributes or possesses propaganda of the type referred to in paragraph (a) preceding;
shall be punished with one to eight years imprisonment.
2. Any person who disseminates false news or malicious predictions likely to cause alarm or discontent among the population, or public disorder, shall be punished with one to four years imprisonment.
3. If mass communication media are used for performance of the acts referred to in (1) and (2) of this article, the penalty shall be seven to fifteen years imprisonment.
4. Any person who permits utilization of the mass communication media referred to in (3) preceding shall be punished with one to four years imprisonment.
This legislation has enabled the Cuban Government to consolidate a policy of systematic harassment against any form of dissent. During the period covered by this report, the IACHR has in fact received extensive information on various methods of harassment directed against individuals or groups devoted to defense of human rights or engaging in political activity. This harassment generally takes the form of accusations, disciplinary measures or imprisonment. The legal grounds most commonly invoked are contempt, unlawful association, enemy propaganda, unauthorized production of printed materials, rebellion, etc. The IACHR has also received information on the practice of a new form of harassment against persons who express, either orally or in writing, their dissatisfaction with the current political system: economic offenses. This method derives from the country's serious economic situation as a result of which people are often obliged to purchase essentials on the black market. One example of this practice is the case of the President of the Cuban Human Rights and National Reconciliation Commission, Elizardo Sanchez Santacruz, who was sentenced to six months house arrest in July 1994 for allegedly having in his possession a larger amount of fuel than was legally permitted.
The IACHR has received information to the effect that 918 persons have been convicted of offenses with political connotations or for having exercised their right to freedom of expression. This list does not include names of persons sentenced for the crime of "dangerousness" or for attempting to leave the country illegally.
Regarding freedom of the press, the IACHR has been informed that this is totally limited to the sole and exclusive service of the Communist Party. As is apparent from Article 53 of the Constitution, the press is limited by ideological considerations and the absolute control exercised by the State. Evidence of this is provided by the variety of newspapers subordinated to the Government Party. These include "Juventud Rebelde" (organ of the Union of Young Communists), "Trabajadores"(organ of the Confederation of Cuban Workers) and "Granma" (organ of the Union of Young Communists). According to the complaints received, these papers present a distorted view of reality and reflect solely the Government's viewpoints. It has further been noted that this situation not only means that the citizens suffer from lack of information, but also generates apathy in the communication media and, finally, forces the population to resort to finding out about what is happening in its own country from foreign sources. The Commission has in fact been informed that approximately 70% of the Cuban population listens to the Miami-based "Radio Marti".
During the period covered by this report, the IACHR received numerous complaints about persons who had been arraigned or harassed in some way for having exercised their right to freedom of expression.
The Frente Civico Democratico spoke out in a press release against "the wave of arrests, violence and intimidation unleashed by the regime against human rights activists, peaceful opponents and their families". The release also adds that "this repressive policy is designed to break up and crush opposition and dissent", and further notes that Angel Verdecia Gonzalez, a resident of the "Bartolome Maso" municipality in Granma province was sentenced to seven years imprisonment on a charge of "Enemy Propaganda" because when the police searched his home in December 1993 they found the address of Radio Marti. The Frente Civico Democratico press release then ended by observing that "these practices that violate human rights do no more than create a climate of national instability".(...) "We are Cubans who reject hate and violence. We want our country to take the pathway of peace, love, national well-being and reconciliation".
The Cuban Human Rights Committee reported to the commission that in September 1994, Barbara Celia Dieguez Gonzalez, aged 26, was subjected to harassment by Interior Ministry agents on account of her work in defense of human rights. She was detained on two occasions and held in isolation for two days. In another complaint the Committee also reported that Arturo Hernandez Lopez, aged 54 and resident at 94, Felix Rojas Street in the municipality of Cacocun, Holguin, is constantly harassed by a State Security agent known as "The Indian". Arturo Hernandez is a former political prisoner who was sentenced in the past to five years imprisonment for alleged crimes against the security of the State.
The IACHR has received information to the effect that Professor Francisco Chaviano Gonzalez, leader of the Cuban National Civil Rights Council, was arrested in May 1994 by State Security agents who took him to the Villa Maristas Detention Center where he has been held incommunicado and without access to legal defense to this date. Chaviano Gonzalez was a natural sciences teacher in a secondary school up till the time he was jailed at the end of the last decade for attempting to escape from Cuba. In mid-1994 he was one of the organizers of a campaign currently underway in favor of an amnesty for Cuban political prisoners. In recent years Chaviano Gonzalez has also acted as co-president of the Coordinating Group for Human Rights Organizations in Cuba ("CODEHU") and as investigator of the whereabouts of hundreds of persons who disappeared at sea when seeking to leave Cuba for the United States. The IACHR has also been informed that the homes of another four Civil Rights Council activists and staffers Jorge Lorenzo Pimienta, Mario Rodriguez, Abilio Ramon Moya and Terina Fernandez Gonzalez, were searched by the State Security Service.
According to information recieved, Antonio Moralez Zoa, Heriberto Acevedo Vasquez and Nidia Ramirez Alvarez, human rights activists from Isla de Pinos, were jailed for three years--at the beginning of 1994--for an alleged "Enemy Propaganda" offense. It was also reported that Rodolfo Gonzalez, a member of the Cuban Human Rights Committee, was arrested on December 10, 1992 on a charge of having provided information considered anti-Government to foreign communication media. Gonzalez was sentenced in March 1994 to seven years imprisonment for "Enemy Propaganda" and is currently held in the Guanajai prison in La Habana province. The Commission has further been informed that the Cuban authorites have reportedly offered Gonzalez his freedom if he will leave the country, an offer that he has rejected. It was also reported that during the three years that Gonzalez was held in Villa Marista--before being transferred to prison--he was kept in a windowless cell where he had to sleep on a metal plate under a fluorescent light left on 24 hours a day.
In June 1994, the President of the Civic Democratic Party, Aida Rosa Jimenez was sick at the time, she was imprisoned in a cell in the Villa Maristas Detention Center. According to the information received, the same agents who arrested her entered and searched her home, taking a typewriter and some documents. The offense that Rosa Jimenez reportedly committed was to have arranged a mass in memory of those who died when the tug "13 de Marzo" was sunk by Cuban coastguards of June 13, 1994. Aida Rosa Jimenez is still being held incommunicado by the Department of State Security.
During the period covered by this Annual Report the IACHR continued receiving reports on various forms of harassment employed against human rights activists, or against persons who simply expressed their concern about these rights either orally or in writing. The fact is that the "Brigadas de Accion Rapida" (Swift Action Brigades") are still carrying out systematic harassment by means of what are termed acts of repudiation, which consist in organizing mobs to gather outside human rights activists' homes to yell all sorts of taunts and shout slogans in favor of the revolution and the Government. Moreover, people are still being arrested and held temporarily, and losing their jobs, and all sorts of reprisals are being directed against persons who speak out against the regime. A particularly serious occurrence brought to the Commission's attention was the mass protest that took place in Havana on August 5, 1994 and which was violently repressed by the Cuban Government at which time some 300 persons were detained.
The IACHR has been informed that the trials of persons arrested during the August 5 disturbances were held in early September 1994. Apparently in one single case eleven persons were tried, the majority of them being young people between 18 and 25 years of age, all charged with "public disorder". Four of them were sentenced to one year's imprisonment, two to eight months and two to six months, while three were acquitted. According to the judgement, their participation in the disturbances, during which a group of persons began to shout anti-revolutionary slogans, was proven. The court also based its decision on the fact that the accused were arrested on the spot without proving they were there for any lawful purpose, and that they were young persons of deviant social behavior.
The IACHR further received with concern numerous complaints about persons connected with human rights organizations who were repeatedly arrested in the days following the protest despite the fact that they had not participated in it. Those named were Alberto Rodriguez Garcia, Rene Gomez Manzano and Jesus Faisel Iglesias of the Cuban National Civil Rights Council; Rene de Pozo and Gerardo Valdes, of the Coordinating Group for Human Rights Organizations in Cuba; Gustavo Cano Escobar, president of Concertacion Democratica Cubana; Nelson Torres Pulido, president of the Cuban Human Rights Party; Maria Valdes Rosado and Jesus Rafael Castillo, President and Vice President, respectively of the Movimiento Cubano Democrata Cristiano; Aida Rosa Jimenez, President of the Partido Civico Democratico, who was released, together with his wife Xiomara Gonzalez, after having spent two years in prison for his links with the Criterio Alternativo group.
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights finds these forms of harassment and persecution on ideological grounds reprehensible, since, not only do they impair the right to freedom of expression but they also openly violate the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man. The Commission also considers that the right to freedom of expression must not only be free of prior restrictions but be free from fear of subsequent arbitrary penalties, because fear of arbitrary response and unjust penalites creates conditions equivalent to prior censorship.
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ARTICLE XIV. Every person has the right to work, under proper conditions, and to follow his vocation freely, insofar as existing conditions of employment permit.
Every person who works has the right to receive such remuneration as will, in proportion to his capacity and skill, assure him a standard of living suitable for himself and for his family.
The American Declaration clearly specifies how the right to work is to be exercised: this must be done under "proper conditions", in accordance with the vocation of the person concerned and with appropriate remuneration.
It is pertinent to note that the right to work and to the conditions under which it must be exercised is directly connected with the right of association "to promote, exercise and protect(...) legitimate interests of a labor union nature". (American Declaration, Article XXII).
The right to work and its practice are recognized in Article 45 of the Cuban Constitution, which provides:
Work in the communist society is a right, a duty and a cause of honor for all citizens.
Work is remunerated in accordance with its quality and quantity; in assigning it, due attention is paid to the requirements of the economy and of society, the workers choice and his skills and qualifications; it is guaranteed by the communist economic system, which fosters economic and social development, without crisis, and which with it has eliminated unemployment and banished for good the seasonal lack of employment referred to as "dead time."
Voluntary, unpaid, work performed for the benefit of all society, in industrial, agricultural, technical, artistic and service activities, is recognized as an instrument for shaping the communist awareness of our people.
Each worker has the duty to fully carry out the tasks assigned to him in his employment.
However, to make an appropriate analysis of the practice of the Cuban labor system, the following article of the Constitution must be cited:
ARTICLE 62. None of the freedoms granted to citizens may be exercised against the provisions of the Constitution and of the laws, nor against the existence and purposes of the communist State, nor against the decision of the Cuban people to build socialism and communism. Violation of this principle is punishable.
It is clear, and the IACHR considers it to be so, that the Cuban Constitution on the one hand recognizes the right to work, but on the other hand, subordinates, limits and restricts this right to the "existence and purposes of the communist State, thereby enabling the creation of conditions conducive to various forms of discrimination in the provision of employment for ideological or other related reasons. The Commission also considers that discrimination in employment is a much greater possibility where the State is virtually the sole employer. These features of Cuban constitutional law, when directed against individuals, can result in discrimination on ideological grounds, which is incompatible with the proclaimed universality of the right to work.
The foregoing is borne out in practice, because throughout 1994 the IACHR continued receiving information about the excessive control the Cuban State exercised over its citizens, control which, for ideological reasons, is exercised in the daily life of each person and is manifested specially in the work centers. What happens is that "reliability" in the labor field is a determining factor in defining the "suitability" of each worker; this reliability includes the political aspects and the worker's attitude to the defense or requirements of the Government or the Party. The Commission was also informed that workers--before or after being hired--arenormally subject to checks by the Committees for Defense of the Revolution, the Technical Investigation Department or even the Party, in order to ascertain whether they fall into the "reliable" category. If it is determined that a worker is not reliable he will be let go, regardless of years of experience, service or other qualities. What is serious about this is that assessments to the effect that individuals are "not reliable" are not appealable.
One of the most revealing cases in this respect is that of Antonio Dominguez Dizat, a researcher at the Instituto Superior Agricola in Ciego de Avila, who was dismissed from his work center on August 3, 1993, for "political unreliability" for having expressed opinions in favor of political changes and for having maintained friendship with two ohter university professors who had also lost their positions for the same reasons in 1992.
The IACHR has also been informed that Marta Vidaurreta Lima, a professor at the Instituto Superior de Diseno Industrial in Havana, was dismissed from her position in February 1994, on the grounds of Decree Law 34/80, after having delivered a letter to the president of the institute setting out her views on the country's situation and its impact on higher education, in particular the use of ideological criteria for determining the conditions for admission to the center, the expulsions of teaching staff and also the constant ideological pressure.
It should be noted that Decree Law No. 34, which is still in effect, was issued on March 12, 1980, and states that "persons who are involved with children and young people in the education process constitute an example for the shaping of their communist personality"; it further authorizes the dismissal of faculty members of higher education institutions and education centers, and of personnel of any education center who are directly involved with the students, for various reasons including "acts of a serious nature clearly contrary to communist morality and the ideological principles of our society". The provisions of this decree law negatively impact the technicians, teachers, administrative personnel and technical personnel employed in higher education.
The IACHR has to express its concern about this matter, since it is clear that labor law in Cuba is violated both de facto and de jure, since discrimination for political reasons in the work centers starts with the substantive law and is then manifested in practice in dismissals and other forms of harassment by the Cuban Government against anyone opposed to the regime.
The Commission has information to the effect that the family members of political prisoners suffer discrimination in their places of work, as do the prisoners themselves once they are released. In the same way, complaints have been received to the effect that this treatment is also meted out to families of emigres when these emigres have assumed attitudes antagonistic to the Cuban political system once they have settled abroad. This is the case of Rafael Ravelo Canosa, whose home was searched by State Security agents at about six in the morning on September 14, 1994. After the search, Ravelo Canosa was taken to the State Security Department, where he was questioned about a report he had allegedly received from a human rights activist concerning an accusation of corruption against a Cuban official in the department in the city of Ariza. Ravelo Canosa, who denied knowing anything about the report, was threatened with four years imprisonment for the crime of "dangerousness", and with expulsion of his son from his job. The complaint received affirms that Revelo Canosa is being harassed on account of, among other reasons, his relationship to the President of the National Cuban American Foundation, Jorge Mas Canosa.
Regarding labor union freedoms, Article 54 of the Cuban Constitution establishes the right of assembly and association for workers and declares that social organizations "enjoy the fullest freedom of speech and opinion, based on the unrestricted right to initiative and to express criticism". These rights, like all the freedoms by the Constitution, are limited by its Article 62 which, as already noted, specifies that these rights may not be exercised "against the existence and purposes of the socialist State, nor against the Cuban people's decision to build socialism and communism".
In practice, the limitation imposed by the Consitution is carried into effect by the existence of the monopoly exercised by the Confederacion de Trabajadores de Cuba (CTC), a single union of the vertical type which prohibits the formation of other workers' groups. The bylaws of the CTC state that "the union movement was directed and guided by the Communist Party, which was required to contribute to the mobilization of the masses in performance of the tasks assigned by the Revolution and to strenghten the marxist-leninist ideology". Its chief objectives also include "supporting the revolutionary government, participating in national vigilance and in defense activities, cooperating to improve management efficiency, strengthening of labor discipline and prevention of any violation of same, and also raising the political awareness of its members".
Notwithstanding the fact that the Cuban Constitution grants labor unions extensive freedoms, the concentration of state power has not been possible without restriction of union freedoms. The right of association, moreover, cannot be exercised against the existence and purposes of the communist State; the labor unions are not therefore truly autonomous since they are subordinated to the interests of the State and guided by the Party. In addition, the unions' main objectives are connected with production and productivity, but not with defense of the workers' interests. These limits on union activity have been underscored by the recent reports on harassment of workers who have attempted independent union actions with a view to protection of their labor interests.
This is the case of Lazaro Corp Yeras, Secretary General of the Union of Cuban Workers and President of the National Commission of Independent Labor Unions, who was beaten up by three State Security agents in a street in the municipality of Playa in Havana on August 2, 1994. His 17-year-old son was also beaten up on the same occasion.
The IACHR has been informed that Juan Guarino Martinez Guillen, President of the Confederation of Democratic Workers of Cuba, was arrested at the beginning of May, 1993, on a charge of instigation of unlawful activity because --according to the police--he was the organizer of a peaceful demonstration on May 1. He was sentenced to one year's house arrest, with the condition that if he persisted in his union activities the sentence would be doubled and he would have to serve it in prison. On September 17 of the same year he was again arrested and taken to the Taco-Taco prison in Pinar del Rio, where he was reported to have been beaten up in January 1994, after which he was transferred to the Combined Eastern Prison (Prision Combinado del Este.) Due to serious health problems he was finally released in May 1994.
Complaints have also been recieved that Edith Lupe, a Confederation of Democratic Workers member in Arroyo Naranjo, Havana, was summoned to the State Security Department on May 24, 1994, where she was threatened with being tried and with being made the target of an act of repudiation if she continued with her union activities. In the course of 1994 it was learned that Hector Dominguez, Jesus Benito Diaz, Fernando Mendoza, Martha Rosa Medina and Manuel Gallardo, all members of the Confederation in the municipality of San Jose de las Lajas, had also been threatened.
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The Cuban Government in fact justifies detention of opponents of the regime under Article 72, which defines "dangerousness" as "a special inclination on the part of a person to commit crimes, as demonstrated by behavior that is clearly contrary to the standards of communist morality". Article 74 expands on this provision by spelling out that "a dangerous state is present when an individual displays some of the following signs of dangerousness: (a) habitual drunkenness and dipsomania; (b) drug addiction; (c) antisocial behavior". In the same way,"an individual who habitually breaks the rules of social coexistence by acts of violence, or by other provocative acts, violates the rights of others or by his general behavior breaks the rules of coexistence or disrupts the order of the community or lives, as a social parasite, off the work of others or explloits or practices socially reprehensible vices, is considered to be in a dangerous state on account of antisocial behavior".
For its part, Article 75 states that "an individual who, without being in any of the dangerous states listed in Article 73, by his links or relationships with persons potentially dangerous to society, other persons and the social, economic and political order of the communist State, could become prone to crime, will be warned by the competent police authority with a view to preventing him from carrying out socially dangerous or criminal activities".
If an individual displays one of the signs of dangerousness listed above certain security measures may be applied, which can be subsequent to or prior to the actual commission of an offense. In the case of prior security measures, Article 78 specifies that the individual declared in a dangerous state can be required to undergo therapeutic or reeducation measures or may be placed under surveillance by the National Revolutionary Police. According to Article 79, one therapeutic measure is admission into a care, psychiatric or detoxification establishment. The reeducation measures are applied to antisocial individuals and consist of admission into a specialized labor or study establishment and assignment to a labor collective for monitoring and guidance of their behavior. The minimum period of these measures is one year and the maximum four years.
These provisions of the Cuban Criminal Code are taken further by Decree No. 128, issued in 1991. This decree specifies that the declaration of dangerousness prior to commission of any offense shall be decided upon by summary procedure, detailed as follows. The National Revolutionary PPolice are to prepare the dossier with the report of the officer involved, the testimony of neighbors who attest the individual's behavior and copies of any official warnings given. Once the dossier is made up, the Police are to submit it to the Municipal People's Court for determination of the degree of dangerousness of the individual concerned within two working days of receipt of it. Within this time period the Court shall decide whether to institute any other proceedings, which must be done within five working days. If the Court considers the dossier complete it will set the date for the hearing at which the parties are to appear. The Municipal Court is to pronounce judgment twenty-four hours after the hearing.
During the period covered by this Annual Report complaints have been received concerning persons arrested by State agents under "dangerousness dossiers" who have subsequently been jailed for up to four years. It should be noted that the Criminal Code does not specify imprisonment as one of the possible security measures. The IACHR has been informed that the type of procedure employed--summary--makes it impossible for the accused to present an adequate legal defense since the preset sequence to be followed is too tightly scheduled to give time for contacting a lawyeer or for preparing a defense.
It has been observed that the social protests sparked by the country's serious economic situation are generally repressed by this method and that the Government uses it not only as a means for preventing common crime but also to curb persons suspected of activities contrary to the official ideology.
The case of Abel Jesus Acosta, a member of the Human Rights Party in Villa Clara, will serve as an example: He was arrested on October 4, 1993, and after a trial held on the 6th of that month he was sentenced to two years imprisonment for being "dangerous", because he had met with "counter-revolutionary elements"". The Commission was informed that Mr. Acosta had met with a Canadian Journalist.
In the same way, Hector Eduardo Pedrera Miranda was arrested on September 16, 1993, as he left his home in Alta Habana and taken to the local National Revolutionary Police Office. On the 23rd of that month he was given a summary trial and sentenced to four years imprisonment. Apparently the prosecutor accused him of having a record of illegal departure from the country--an offense for which he had already paid the penalty--which meant that he was not in sympathy with the revolution and was accordingly "dangerous". The Commission was informed that the defense attorney was not allowed to see the accused's dossier and was only permitted to talk to him a few minutes before the sentence was pronounced.
Other complaints received report that:
Jorge Luis Dominguez Riera, an activist in the Cuban Human Rights Party, in the locality of Regla, was arrested on October 15, 1993 and taken to the Technical Investigations Department in Havana for having taken part in an anti-government demonstration. On the 18th of that month he was sentenced to four years imprisonment as dangerous.
Mercedes Parada Antunes, a member of the Political Rights Defense Association, was arrested on September 26, 1993, on a charge of dangerousness. On October 8 of that year she was tried before the Marianao Municipal People's Court in Havana and sentenced to two years imprisonment.
The above accounts confirm that there is no restraint in Cuba on the arbitrary exercise of government powers, since the right to due process seems to be one of those most frequently violated, both in substantive and in procedural terms. Thus, the "special inclination" to commit crimes referred to in the Cuban Criminal Code amounts to a subjective criterion used by the Government to justify violations of the right to individual freedom and due process of person whose sole crime has been an inclination to hold a view different from the official view.
In sum, the definition of an offense that makes it possible for a person to be punished before or after having committed a crime, the subjectivity employed by the Criminal Code in describing these crimes together with the security measures, and the summary nature of the proceedings which inevitably entails a lack of guarantees and the political considerations governing them, constitute serious violations of the rights set forth in the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man.
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