Much Remains to be Done / Amado Calixto Gammalame, Cuban Law Association

By Amado Calixto Gammalame

Although racism in Cuba began to decline during the wars of independence, by the obvious presence of blacks and mulattoes among the mambises (Cuban guerrillas), that was only a beginning. Much remains to be done, after more than twelve years into the 21st Century.

The idea of a characteristic or distinctiveness of a particular social group in relation to its ethnic origin has been the core factor for the onset of prejudices and attitudes that prevent a more just and comprehensive understanding of the problem from a historical, economic, and social point of view.

On the subject much has been said, but in practice little has been done, the most commendable in my view being what is endorsed by Articles 41 and 42 of the Constitution of the Republic: “(41) All citizens have equal rights and are subject to the same duties. (42) Discrimination based on race, skin color, sex, national origin, religious beliefs or any other offense against human dignity is forbidden and is punishable by law.

But from there to everyday life is a long stretch, as is often found in the judgments of inferiority and marginality lurking in the minds of many people in relation to blacks, including the judgment of those who make the major decisions in the country, even though from time to time to they recognize it.

Just look, for example, at the contrast between the ethnic composition of the representatives of the Cuban diplomatic corps, either to represent us in Burundi, Burkina Faso and Togo, and the students of the Institute of International Relations (future diplomats), or between the current leadership of the so-called top-tier management, and the mass of black intellectuals, formed by the system itself, with the same qualifications, displaying the first condition that one must have to occupy such positions: being a member of the only party allowed in Cuba.

It is not my style to compare our small country with others, but since there is already talk of a generational shift, I ask two questions that relate to the topic: Will there be a black president in Cuba like there is in the United States? Will it be a black woman? Nobody panic, I’m just fantasizing.

11 September 2013

Compulsory Purchase. What for? / Noel Rodriguez Avila

Lic. Noel Rodríguez Ávila

Our present work is concentrating on the processes of compulsory purchase (forced expropriation) against the owners of motor vehicles transporting freight from the provinces of Holguín and Las Tunas.

Before they started this, in the extinct transport sectors, they created commissions for the buying and selling of trucks, which followed the express instructions of the Ministry of Transport in regard to inspecting the vehicles in question, to detect anything illegal done by their owners in terms of parts, components, accessories or engine units.

Once they had finished the inspection, they wrote out a report on the deficiencies they had detected; afterwards they gave the owner a document directing him to sell his vehicle, for which they paid by cheque in the payee’s name in national money for the value of $1800 or $2500, depending on the tonnage.

This transaction was covered by an ambiguous, corrupt and one-sided contract of sale authorized by Resolution 118-88 of the Ministry of Transport, the law 1090/63, complemented by the law 1148/64, and the law 1206/67, which entitled the Central Administration entities of the state to acquire the assets required for the taking forward of their activities; giving rise to a situation in which, on the presentation of demands before the Civil and Administrative Chamber of the Provincial Tribunals, the sale was Held to be Null and Void because of the exclusion of the spouse’s interest.

In those cases where the vehicle’s owner refuses to effect the sale, the process of compulsory purchase is commenced; a procedure which is instituted in our legal and constitutional system, ensured both by the Constitution of the Republic in Art. 25 and also in Arts. 425 et seq. of the Law of Civil, Administrative, Employment and Economic Procedure; being the prerequisite which mediates the declaration of public necessity and social interest.

On that basis the Ministry of Transport issued Resolutions number 40 and 85, which declared the public necessity and social interest in acquiring the said vehicles which were operating in the eastern area, in order that the Holguín Truck Company could achieve its transport plans. Looking back, it is clear that the objective of this process was to get rid of the private sector.

This view is backed up by an legal Opinion issued by the legal directorate of the Ministry of Transport, in relation to a complaint presented by truckers from the province of Holguín addressed to Raúl Castro Ruz, who was at that time Second Secretary of the PCC (Communist Party of Cuba) and Minister of the FAR Revolutionary Armed Forces); in which, among other things, there is the following reference: The compulsory purchase of trucks, initiated against their owners, has its antecedents in the year 1989, when, on the orders of the high command of the country they made available what was termed “The policy of making things harder for the private sector, with a view to its gradual disappearance”, reflected in agreement no. 1507 of the Secretariat of the Central Committee of the PCC …

We can therefore conclude that:

Firstly: The private carriers were grouped in the defunct Fleet Operator, from where they offered their transport services, both to private individuals and companies, as well as the Central Administration of the State.

Secondly: That the Ministry of Transport secured, employing anticipated alleged technical violations and by way of a corrupt contract of sale, the compulsory purchase, with no voluntary aspect at all, of private sector trucks, resulting in the later nullification of these legal transactions.

Thirdly: That the State disguised its true intentions, aided by a false declaration of public necessity and social interest, when its real interest was to get rid of the private sector.

Fourthly: Today it remains clear that this sector represents a great public utility and is in the social interest, as the state has had to turn to the private carriers in order to sort out the situation with the transport of passengers and goods on a national level.

Therefore it would be good to get a reply to the question in the title: Compulsory purchase: Why and what for?

Translated by GH

26 August 2013

“We’re Backlogged” / Kirenia Dominguez Alvarez, Cuban Law Association

Kirenia Domínguez Álvarez

This is the response given by the Municipal Department of Housing (UMIV) to citizens who show up to get the documents that they have requested days earlier in order to complete some transaction relating to their homes.

Many documents and titles have been lost, without any compensation for the resulting damages.

Claribel told me, very sadly, that she has requested for the second time her mother’s last will, and the opinion of the architect, and that these can expire if the Municipal Department of Housing does not expedite the processing necessary to convey to her the property she inherited from her mother some years ago.

After the fifty days that the law provides for these cases had elapsed, Claribel returned to the agency. Their response was a terse rejection without any explanation.

We conclude with the response that these officials gave her, after she had complained to the government about the long delay: “We do not understand what the architect wrote in his opinion.” So should we call it a backlog, or is it really a deficiency, a lack of knowledge, and an outrage to the public?

1 August 2013

Where Are We Going to Stop? / Rodrigo Chavez Rodriguez, Cuban Law Association

By: Rodrigo Chavez Rodriguez

I was riding on the P9-route bus, listening to music playing at a reasonable volume, a song by the Mexican Marco Antonio Solís, in which one verse is repeated several times: “Where are we going to stop?” I liked the catchy chorus and mentioned it to my colleague Julio Ferrer who was traveling with me, when I heard a woman who, in response to the insistent jostling of several school kids trying to get off the bus, told me “It is true, where are we going to stop? I am professor of mathematics, physics, and chemistry” (without mentioning at which school).

What became clear during our brief chat is that we are deficient in everything related to formal education, social discipline, human values, and standards of conduct; she also mentioned rights and obligations at all levels. Obviously I agreed with her comments. She, my colleague, and I remember a topic in our fundamental standards called Civic Education, which our parents learned and taught us, and which we are still fortunate to have, as we are reminded repeatedly day after day.

The Congress of the Federation of University Students (FEU) recently met. Its Conclusions, Recommendations and Work Strategies addressed the issue of reintroducing Civic Education into our educational system. In my opinion this should be done at the earliest grades and ages possible. As a subject (theory) it is quite feasible, and the need is urgent, because it also generates respect for all our true, necessary, and legitimate rights and obligations.

19 August 2013

Violence Outside the Law / Cuban Law Association, Odalina Guerrero Lara

Lic. Odalina Guerrero Lara

Law No. 59 of the Cuban Civil Code sets out:

Article 129.1 – Property confers on the title holder the possession, use, enjoyment of and disposal of the assets, in accordance with its intended socio-economic use.

Rolando González Camacho received from his grandfather Eufemio González Martínez a property situated at Apartment 4 of building 19213a, fronting onto Avenue 81 between 102 and 194, Alturas de la Lisa Neighborhood, Havana.

The said property was awarded, according to Deed number 1120 by way of Gift, issued in the City of Havana the 25th August 2009 before Licenciado Uber Rae Arias Rodríguez who was Notary at 4604, 37th Street in the Playa Municipality.

Rolando, in spite of his 30 years of age, is legally represented by his mother and stepfather, as he suffers from hepatitis C, partial epilepsy symptomatic of the frontal lobe, neuroblastic migration disorder and bronchial asthma; according to a medical certificate issued 23rd June 2013 by Dr. Víctor Raúl Frades García of the neurological consultancy at the Havana Salvador Allende Hospital.

His infirmities do not limit his conversational ability, given that when I turn up at his house, he speaks happily and expresses his regret that his grandfather left him a property in which he couldn’t even cook since the next door neighbour María del Pilar Olivera Delgado, taking advantage of a period when the property was empty, broke down a dividing wall and taking over a part of his property.

He says he has spoken to María del Pilar Olivera Delgado asking that she remove herself, because he doesn’t want problems with his parents and is afraid of the police.

In August 2009, Rolando issued a SPECIAL POWER, before a notary in the name of his stepfather Jorge Luis García Casañas, his legal representative. García Casañas has made claims in relation to all stages of the proceedings, in order to get them out of his property, not just the person who in August 2011 broke the wall and illegally entered Rolando’s home, but also another two people who joined María del Pilar Olivera Delgado in this unbelievable violation.

Furthermore, the failure of the relevant bodies in this case has been contradictory and completely lacking in clarity.

The legal absurdity of giving support to illegalities committed in his home, has caused Rolando González Camacho damage which may be irreparable, given the effects he is experiencing in his health.

The obvious question therefore  is: who takes responsibility for the situation of this fellow countryman who is suffering torture in his own home?

Translated by GH

2 August 2013

What Should Not Happen / Cuban Law Association, Argelio M. Guerra

Lic. Argelio M. Guerra

The Law of Criminal Procedure is clear when it indicates in the penultimate paragraph of Art. 251 that: The Police, the Instructor, the Prosecutor or the Tribunal, as the case may be, will decide in relation to the application for modification of the provisional measure* in regard to a time period not to exceed five working days counting from the moment in which the application is made.

It is not clear why the preceding period is breached so often, sometimes doubled or trebled, without complying with the requirement by the legislature to respond to the application for variation of the provision status* of the accused in the brief space of a week. The most serious instance case of such violation occurs when the variation in question is in relation to an accused who is has been remanded in custody, given the very nature of this provisional measure.

An even more unfortunate circumstance is when, in the face of an application for change in a measure, time passes without receiving the due response, ending up with the prosecutor declaring the matter finalised whenever it suits him, in complete disregard of the law.

Unhappily, we see a lot of behavior by the authorities who seem to be acting in a sort of discretionary manner and not in accord with the requirements of the law. This sad reality is even more sensitive when such conduct is in relation to the system of justice, infringing the most basic rights of those subject to legal proceedings.

They are just one example of what should not happen in our battered social system.

*Translator’s note: The provisional status (see next paragraph) under discussion here refers to requests for changes in the custody status of the accused, that is, for example, requests to be released pending trial.

Translated by GH

4 August 2013

A Life With Dignity / Cuban Law Association, Odalina Guerrero Lara

By Odalina Guerrero Lara

The Constitution of the Republic of Cuba establishes:

Article 41: All citizens enjoy equal rights and are subject to equal duties.

Dignity is a inherent value of rational human beings, providing liberty and creative power, so people can shape and improve their lives through making decisions and exercising their liberty.  Human beings posess dignity from within themselves, it doesn’t come from external factors or individuals, they have it from the instant of their fertilization or conception and it is inalienable.

I am an ordinary Cuban; daily life, the coming and going of things and the situation of my country hits me; but for my family life becomes very difficult when they discriminate for reasons of conscience against people like me, who belong to an organization such as the Cuban Law Association, or for their political opinion.

Today Cuba is going through a process of change, and in changing the mentality of human beings, I hope it achieves fulfillment of what is stated in this article of the Fundamental Law and at least doesn’t impede me in enjoying the rights and responsibilities that are by law given to Cuban citizens, considering that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, invokes in its Preamble the intrinsic dignity (…) of all the members of the human family, to later affirm that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.

28 July 2013

For a Diverse and Advanced Economy / Cuban Law Association, Yanelis Ramirez Cruz

Yanelis Ramírez Cruz, Esq.

The economic crisis and the new conditions in which the world finds itself have made the need for a serious and profound modification of the overall state of production and economic exchange in our system of commerce unavoidable.

The foundation for the global process of adjustment and economic reform, which remains ongoing even today, arises out of the critical lessons learned from the experiences of other countries, most notably China, Vietnam and the former Soviet Union. But fundamentally it is based on the critical awareness of the distinctive features and specific national characteristics of the regional and global geopolitical environment in which a country finds itself.

We have seen numerous transformations of our economic reformation, among them the dollarization of the economy, the opening to investment of foreign capital, the reform of landholding and cultivation, the increase in self-employment, and the application of so-called Business Improvement.

All these changes are supported by law; the legal basis of the economic reform had its antecedents in Decree 50 of February 1982, and in the Constitutional Reform of 1992. Later, more specific rules were conceived: Decree Law 141 on the exercise of self-employment; Decree Law 174 of 1997 on this same subject; Law 77 of 1995 on foreign investment; Decrees 281 and 252 relating to Business Improvement, among others. Though it is true that the laws legitimated all these changes, many of them do not meet the demands that the new economic model calls for.

Add to this the fact that the experience of the old system of economic management and planning through material balances does not have much to contribute. It also lacks sufficient experience in the management and techniques  of the market, among other things, because there was virtually no precedent in national practice. Most of the companies operating both in the internal and external markets are not profitable, are not able to finance themselves and settle their trade debts, which causes great uncertainty in legal transactions.

Our system of economic law faces an uphill task, as it must establish the legal foundations to better structure the base of the economy and the trade relations that will emerge from ongoing global economic development, which we must not remain outside of.

17 June 2013

Counter-revolution / Cuban Law Association, Julio Alfredo Ferrer Tamayo

Lic. Julio Alfredo Ferrer Tamayo

REVOLUTION, for Fidel Castro Ruz, Historic Leader of the Cuban Revolution, is the sense of the historic moment; it’s changing everything that should be changed; it’s full liberty and equality; it’s to be treated and to treat others as human beings; it’s our own emancipation through our own efforts; it’s standing up to powerful dominant forces inside and outside our social and national space; it is to defend values we believe in no matter what sacrifice; it’s modesty, disinterest, altruism, solidarity and heroism; it is fighting bravely, intelligently and realistically; never lying or breaking ethical principles; it is the profound conviction that there is no power in the world able to crush the force of truth and ideas. revolution is unity, independence, fighting for our dreams of justice for Cuba and for the world, it is the foundation of our patriotism, our socialism and our internationalism. Gathered together like this in the Guidelines for Economic and Social Policies, discussed in the VI Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba, ratified by the President of the Republic of Cuba, Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, like a fundamental compass in the construction of a prosperous and sustainable socialism.

Starting off from this definition, it is possible to work out what is COUNTER-REVOLUTION; whatever opposes or contravenes that concept. When we are not treated or don’t treat others as human beings; when we lie and violate ethical principles; when we are immodest, selfish, mean and egotistical; when we do not defy powerful dominating forces in our social and national space. when we do not fight bravely, intelligently and realistically; when we don’t change everything that should be changed, when there is not full equality and liberty; when they don’t allow the Cuba Law Association to exercise its clear human right to have its constitution, and to realise our dreams of justice for Cuba.

Translated by GH

8 July 2013

Misfortune or Medical Malpractice / Cuban Law Association, Kirenia Domínguez Álvarez

Kirenia Domínguez Álvarez, Esq.

Rosabel, Roxana, and Rosita were triplets born four years ago in Honda Bay, a coastal town in Artemisa province. Unfortunately, or from medical malpractice, we can only enjoy the happiness of two of them.

Many times we have no words to account for acts that go unpunished, even though we know the answer.

The afternoon when the child was referred to a provincial hospital where she would have better prospects for proper care for a bronchial asthma attack, she was given an overdose of medication that caused her death. Before leaving town she was given a dose of the same drug, which was not reflected in the referral order.

The question is, who is legally responsible for this act, classified as negligence or recklessness, and sanctioned by our Penal Code in Article 9.1.3.?

Silence is the answer to the question that many people asked and kept to themselves.

25 June 2013

Emigration / Cuban Law Association, Noel Rodriguez Ávila

Lic. Noel Rodríguez Ávila

From an economic point of view Cubans have come to feel that they lack a future, it has been more than five decades and they have seen no fruits of their labors, which don’t even meet their basic needs of housing, food, clothing and a job with a decent wage.

The loss of motivation to study careers requiring a technical or university education comes from there being no economic advantage, nor even jobs to fill with these qualifications. The insecurity makes people look to the future and old age with fear.

There is no hope of prosperity. Every discourse has a political focus, with regards to the economy they only talk about working and being productive, about control and demands, not of new factories or investments or more employees. They talk about a primitive agriculture, subsistence level. An educated people can’t accept these miserable proposals.

Religious freedom is tolerated, but the system doesn’t like it. There is a lack of freedom of expression.

Cuban people are taught to watch each other, there’s a paranoia about being heard and being informed on to the authorities.

The State’s organizational structure is designed to convince us that all is well, or to understand what is wrong by looking for external causes, or in lower level management and not at the strategy of the higher ups who re never wrong. This limits the possibility of changes, all this is integrated into every Cuban citizen leading to a frustrated frustrated, hopeless personality, faking it, with no exit, looking abroad for an option, a hope.

The aspiration of every professional is to go on an international mission to earn a little money, have a house, buy a car, and have some comforts; when they can’t achieve it they want to leave even more to get away from their family, their country.

Emigration to the United States has also been an option, although risky, sad and cruel, when people use any kind of floating artifact to get to that country, to embrace a hope for prosperity and to help their family who with anguished hope said the magic words, “arrive safely” and then, gratefully, receive remittances that alleviate their economic stress.

In any event, the solution for Cubans is not outside, but within.

5 June 2013

Thoughts About the Agricultural Problem in Cuba / Dayana Cruz Vega, Cuban Law Association

Lic. Dayana Cruz Vega

Agricultural Problem: These have been two very controversial words down the years, they refer to the unequal distribution of land between the rural population, also the combination of socioeconomic and political conditions, relations and contradictions which characterise the structure and working of the agricultural sector. This problem has been a persistent presence in Cuban political legal thinking even though it was one of the first labour directives after the triumph of the revolution.

The Agriculture Reform Laws acquired a constitutional status which they maintained up until the 1976 Constitution took effect.

On the subject of agriculture there exist bodies of law such as Resolution 288/90 which establishes the regulations for the functioning of the register of land tenure, Law number 36 relating to farming co-operatives, repealed by Law 95/2002, among others which have seen the light of day in recent years, like Decree Law 259 which guarantees the awarding of the right to enjoy land for the purpose of production and number 300 which modifies the extension of lands which the previous one permitted to be handed over.

But in spite of all of this pointing in the direction of the improvement of the living and working conditions of the farming sector, and the increased productivity of the land as the only way to replace imports, they haven’t met their objective.

In this regard it is necessary to stress that the scattered legislation, the legal ignorance of the peasants in relation to their rights and the process of accounting in the various sectors and co-operatives have had their influence of production and productivity, in spite of there being sufficient projects put in place for this function; and, just as important as the above-mentioned, are the occurrence of instances of violation of the generally accepted Principles of Accounting, breach of the System of Internal Control, all of which have encouraged the commission of economic crimes with increasing frequency.

All of this brings us to the point at which we can conclude that the land problem is in need of objective solutions which have the necessary legal backing to turn agriculture into our principal source of income, and not what has in fact happened which is to be converted into an unproductive sector incapable of satisfying our immediate nutritional and economic needs.

Translated by GH

22 May 2013

Justice Without Delay: A Human Right / Cuban Law Association, Julio Alfredo Ferrer Tamayo

Instruction No. 193 of 8 July 2007, of the Government Council of the People´s Supreme Court, affirms in the first that INASMUCH AS: The administration of justice in our country has as a priority the adequate speed in the processing of judicial proceedings in general and in virtue of that there having been adopted various means to expedite the processing of penal proceedings and especially matters concerning the accused who are in temporary custody…

Judicial practice reveals something entirely different, since that adequate speed in the processing of judicial proceedings of the accused who are in temporary custody is uncertain, which can be verified simply by having in view the statistical data managed within the framework of meetings of conciliation or coordination, for the analysis of the issue, meetings held between the Courts, the Prosecutor’s Office and the Headquarters of the Ministry of the Interior, responsible entities or their representatives, mandated by the aforementioned Instruction 193, for the evaluating and specifying of the criminal situation with defendants who are in custody, which report on pending legal procedures, paying particular attention to the reasons that negatively affect cases of detentions longer than 90 days. continue reading

It turns out to be incontestable that the measures taken to expedite the processing of the criminal trial with the accused in temporary detention have not achieved that purpose, since the number of accused persons held in detention, in criminal matters, has not diminished, and quite the contrary continues to increase, and the detention time in that situation goes beyond the excessive, not just by the end of the 90 days as Instruction 193 fixes, but in addition the SIX MONTHS established for that purpose, by Article 107 of the Criminal Procedure Act.

This is to act illegally, breaking Paragraph 3 of Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: Anyone arrested or detained on a criminal charge shall be brought promptly before a judge or other officer authorized by law to exercise judicial power and shall be entitled to trial within a reasonable time or to release.

It is in this situation that from July 31, 2012, like many people, my wife MARIENYS PAVÓ OÑATE, has found herself at the Western Provinces Women’s Prison; in just three months it will be one year, on the occasion of an alleged criminal offense, and still she has not been brought before the Court to be tried nor has she been released by the Prosecutor.

Lic. Julio Alfredo Ferrer Tamayo

We hear all too often in our mass media with a large audience, such as “Mesa Redonda” (the “Round Table” program) that they analyze and criticize, as a serious violation of human rights, that in prisons in multiple places on the planet, people remain permanently jailed, and they have not even been formally charged. Is this the mote in the eye of another?

30 April 2013

Indoctrinate or Instruct? / Cuban Law Association, Noel Rodríguez Ávila


Lic. Noel Rodríguez Ávila

Now they aren’t applying themselves to instruct, only to indoctrinate. Education is entirely the responsibility of the family, as the fundamental cell of society.

José Martí stated that “education is depositing in the child all of humanity’s culture, to put him in tune with his times, and, in return, he contributes to the education of other people.

Our educational system has deteriorated badly, both from the point of view of the teacher and of the student, as a result of trying out different methods and styles in order to perfect it

An example of this is the compressed courses for “emergent teachers”*; of which there are an increasing number because of the scarcity of teachers and professors in primary and secondary education, largely because of the some of them retiring and others emigrating, which is happening due to educational disengagement, with people moving to other sectors of the economy looking for better pay.

It has been a policy mistake to try to instruct and educate kids and young people using methods which minimise the role of the teacher or professor, such as using television and video classes, reducing the level of review; in the end insisting that everyone has to pass their grade, no matter what their level of intelligence, so that “regular” has to become “good,” and good or very good has to become “excellent.”

If we sow poor seed we cannot expect good fruit.

*Translator’s note: The “Emergent Teachers” program took high school age students and fast tracks them to a teaching career. After poor results, including the death of at least one student at the hand of an “emergent teacher,” the program was scaled back.

Translated by GH
2 May 2013

Analysing What’s Happened / Cuban Law Association, Wilfredo Vallín Almeida

By Wilfredo Vallín Almeida

It’s good news. People like Yoani Sánchez, Eliecer Ávila and Berta Soler find themselves abroad enjoying a right which was denied for fifty years

In the Asociación Jurídica Cubana (Cuban Law Association) we are always happy to receive everything which implies more liberty for the Cuban people, without closing our eyes to the problems which continue to be presented by government decisions, especially when there continue to be unclear or arbitrary legal positions.

Let me explain

In the year 2003, 75 people were accused of crimes against the Cuban state. Tried immediately, they were condemned to different and severe prison sentences. During the following seven years they were all freed.

In relation to that something is happening which I would like to share with our readers, but which will require more than one post, and because of that, in this one I want to set out essential introductory elements to help with this analysis

For someone in jail, who hasn’t completed their sentence, there are two ways of waiving the remaining term and going free. They are:

A reprieve

An amnesty

In the case of a reprieve, they extinguish the criminal responsibility and it is construed as pardoning the penalty which was applied to the person. If it is a complete reprieve, they extinguish the prisoner’s entire sentence. If it is a parcial reprieve, part of the prisoner’s penalty disappears or they change it for more minor sanctions.

A reprieve applies to one individual person. In order for it to have effect, it is necessary to have an administrative act and a firm sentence and you don’t necessarily have to extinguish the preceding penalties of the individual in question. Normally the possibility of a reprieve (also known as “The Law of Pardon”) rests in the hands of important representatives of the State.

As far as an amnesty is concerned, it doesn’t refer to the penalty, but to the offence itself. It relates to all those who have committed it, not to particular individuals, it extinguishes total criminal responsibility and eliminates the preceding penalties in removing the criminal status.

In he case of an amnesty, it is necessary to pass a law in order to arrange it, and it extinguishes the antecedent penalties of the individuals involved given that it covers all who committed the crime and not particular individuals.

The amnesty is used above all for political offences and not normal crimes.

With these elements, we are ready for an analysis of what has happened.

Translated by GH

24 April 2013