Hablemos Press, Oscar Sánchez Madan, Matanzas, 2 September 2015 – The principal difficulty that Cubans have faced for the past five decades is the absence of basic freedoms. They have had to live under a one-party police regime whose functionaries act like they own people’s lives.
The almost 200 arrests of peaceful dissidents that took place throughout the country last weekend are evidence that Raúl Castro’s regime does not have as a priority to align itself with what is prescribed in the international agreements on human rights.
Since 1959, the year in which the Castro regime dynasty assumed power on the Island, it has been difficult for citizens to organize meetings and public demonstrations outside the purview of the State.
The exercise of the right to freedom of expression has been permitted only to those who share the official ideology, as is specified in the constitution imposed by the ex-dictator Fidel Castro in 1976.
Despite the fact that Cuba has reestablished diplomatic relations with the United States, and is engaged in talks with the European Union to achieve a mutual rapprochement, repression against the people continues.
The fact that the democratic world is now more sympathetic to the regime has not done anything to better the life of the people. Raúl Castro continues not to ratify nor implement the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights – legal instruments approved in 1966 by the General Assembly of the United Nations. This has kept Cuban nationals from seeing the realization of their dreams of freedom.
Under a military regime that allows itself to restrict the freedom of movement of an artist such as the renowned rock singer Gorki Águila, as happened last 14 August in Havana, it is not possible for anyone here to enjoy liberty.
Few people understand the fact that Cuban workers cannot exercise the right to strike to demand labor reforms.
Cuba grieves for the hundreds of compatriots executed, and the tens of thousands jailed for political reasons, during the last 56 years; it does not forget those humiliated and tortured in detention centers, and those who went into exile.
As the Cuban-American poet Richard Blanco expresses in his poem Matters of the Sea: “We have fingered memories and regrets like stones in our hands that we just can’t toss yet, yet.”
It is imperative that the citizenry be guaranteed full exercise of its rights and liberties. This is a reasonable and necessary demand; it requires the Cuban people to determinedly call for the regime to change the current, unjust regulation in our national code, and take firm steps towards the establishment of a true Rule of Law in Cuba.
Translated by: Alicia Barraqué Ellison