Roads to Democracy for Cuba / 14ymedio

Conference participants gathered in Mexico. (14ymedio)
Conference participants gathered in Mexico. (14ymedio)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, 20 June 2015 — The second edition of the event Roads for a Democratic Cuba is taking place in Mexico from 18 to 23 June 2015 under the auspices of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation and the Christian Democrat Organization of America (ODCA). Participating in this meeting are dozens of political activists and civil society leaders of the Island and the Diaspora. The event will continue through the weekend and until next Tuesday.

Among the topics discussed on the first day is the impact on the Island of everything related to the talks between the governments of Cuba and the United States for the purpose of restoring diplomatic relations. Other areas to be discussed are the options of the opposition, various proposals before a new Cuban Electoral Law and ways to strengthen Cuban civil society. continue reading

Among the participants from the island are Dagoberto Valdes, Manuel Cuesta Morua, Vladimiro Roca, Laritza Diversent, Juan Antonio Madrazo, Juan Carlos Gonzalez Leiva, Wilfredo Vallin, Rolando Rodriguez Lobaina, Rosa Maria Rodriguez, Rafael León Rodríguez, Guillermo Fariñas and Boris Gonzalez Arenas.

The first meeting of the event was held last December 2014 in the Mexican capital. At that meeting they talked about the diversity of peaceful means to fight for democracy, the role of exile and the importance of identifying the minimum points of consensus to move forward, if not in the desired unity, at least in arranging purposes.

Conference participants gathered in Mexico. (14ymedio)
Conference poster for this year’s meeting.

Either Planet / Cuban Law Association, Rodrigo Chavez

Lic. Rodrigo Chávez

For my eldest son, Roylier Javier Chávez Dubrocq.

Countless conversations will never happen given the pigheaded, volatile and dim-witted habit our government has for maintaining a monopolistic grip and control on the flow of information, or should I say, disinformation.  Essentially, the State not only keeps us in the dark about our legitimate rights, but is sole proprietor of our intimacy and our ability to move or even think.

My son is back where the four condemned Cuban “anti-terrorists and Heroes of the Cuban Republic,” as they are better known back here, are imprisoned. Thing is: on this planet, all Cuba is like a prison and subjected to the whimsy of just a few.  By whimsy I mean the sort of fanciful cravings and doings of the few that are concealed from view but completely inhibit the people’s access — let alone execution — to even the most basic of rights.

From that other planet — where all rights are seen, heard and spoken — we are routinely exposed to movies and TV shows where legal recourse and due process are recognized.  On that other planet, all information is publicly shared among  nations.  Routine comparison to what has been called a revolution here really ends up sounding like a complete misnomer.

Big difference: My son is now poignantly aware of what I told him years ago and he can effectively measure the difference between what he studied here but experiences as his true life over there.

For this reason, whenever we speak his words are upbeat but always underscore that the Cuba yearned for should be one where democracy, freedom and ample human rights are given.

We’ll get there one day, son.  Surely we will.

Translated by: JCD

9 December 2013

About the Family / Cuban Law Association, Rodrigo Chavez Rodriguez

Lic. Rodrigo Chávez Rodríguez

The great majority of Cuban families are not illiterate but they don’t know  that there is a Family Code. They may also be oblivious to the fact that in the Constitution of the Republic of Cuba (which definitely needs to be changed) you will find in Chapter IV, Art. 35; The State protects the family, maternity, and marriage … Until someone explains it to me, and I manage to understand it and feel convinced, I will perhaps continue to be mistaken or each time clearer in my thoughts.

Is it that when people separate, including parents leaving their kids at an early age to emigrate to other countries, almost always for economic reasons, the State protects protects maternity and the family? From what I have just said we can deduce that sustainable marriage cannot exist when, for this or other reasons, the links of a marriage, or voluntary union or whatever, are dissolved, and nor can the State protect marriage and the family, nor indeed the very low level of pregnancies among Cuban women due to  lack of many indispensable things.

In other families, aware of what has been decreed and stipulated in the Articles of the above mentioned 1975 Family Code, which can apparently assert that knowledge; this maternity, this marriage and the family are also split up, with the difference that in the case of migrants, here it is about political reasons, their rejection of the government, because they lack one of man’s most precious assets: FREEDOM, and although it brings with it separation and distance from their family, it is necessary for them to search for it and they do find it.

The state recognises in the family the fundamental component of society and attributes to it responsibilities and essential functions in the education and upbringing of the new generations, referred to in Art. 38 of the Law of Laws: Parents have the duty of feeding their children and supporting them in the defence of their legitimate interests and in the achieving of their true aspirations; as well as in contributing actively in their education in their upbringing as useful citizens, ready for life in a socialist society. Why in a “socialist society”? Why if they have to support them in their legitimate interests and just aspirations, and that may not be the interest nor aspiration of the family?

Translated by GH

13 September 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

About Leaders and Responsibilities / Cuban Law Association, Lic. Rodrigo Chavez

Lic. Rodrigo Chávez

In the newspaper Granma, an article published with the title “About leaders and responsibilities”, by Félix López, makes it clear that a well-known old Cuban proverb “the rope breaks at the weakest point” would be ideal for this article.

How many of us who have always been subordinates have carried the blame for something which we had nothing to do with? And I say subordinate because whenever we have a superior, we are inevitably subordinate.

Say to yourself crime, contravention or indiscipline, they categorise and describe actions in this way because they are gathered up in legal regulations, but what’s for sure is that as a general rule, when regulations go unobserved, and are breached, usually the weight of the law falls on or breaks the weakest point: the “subordinate”.

Is it the workers who designate or choose their bosses? That’s as untrue as the belief that in the Management Board of any Employment Centre, the chief feels he is subject to the same conditions as his employees. Going to any Management Council is like being in the presence of a contract of adhesion “take it or leave it” – and to tell you the truth, we can understand even better than the people who work there that the chief has his entourage, incapable of or prevented from disagreeing with the decision of the supremo, except in rare circumstances, which are always viewed with disapproval and in terms of whingeing, trouble-making or out to make problems.

What can you say when a chief takes disciplinary measures against a subordinate and the latter complains to the Employment Law Authority (OJLB)? It would be a bit awkward if the worker were to leave victorious after the confrontation, because both he and the OJLB are employees and who would think of going against the wishes of the chief they will ask  themselves. “Who will guarantee my employment if we let the worker win?” Because although the regulations say that the Authority has to comply with the law when carrying out its functions, when the function of delivering justice gets to the decision, will they continue being employed?

When you get to a work location trying to work and experiencing difficulties, you will find out who is the Chief, Manager, Director, Administator… perhaps you will be lucky enough to see him and hear him from a distance at a meeting, but you also learn that this individual has been shifted out … how is this person supposed to know about the activities he has been asked to run? How are things going to operate? There are lots of unanswered questions, and anybody who is able to answer them does not do so.

Translated by GH

23 March 2013

I Invite You to Believe Me When I Talk About the Future / Rodrigo Chavez Rodriguez #Cuba


CHAVEZLic. Rodrigo Chávez Rodríguez

All or almost all of us think about the FUTURE, but is this future certain or uncertain?

From the time we’re little with a future filled with fantasies of what we would like it to be, we take as reference the attitudes and skills of the people around us and try to be like them, but Time, as it reflects the Past, Present and the Future, very discreetly, is telling us that we are entering a new phase of our lives, almost without realizing it, as we reach adolescence, and here we begin to see that the stages of life form a part of the Past and we are consuming the Present. OH! Beautiful adolescence, that gives the green light to our longings and loves without demanding much from us, but imperceptibly, we also live a Past and a Present without abandoning our childhood, with all its dreams and fantasies. continue reading

In this stage of our lives, we adopt patterns that are offered to us a main course, at home, in school, in activities and with that characteristic ingenuity we digest everything that appears before us, there are no insurmountable barriers, or unattainable goals, everything is possible, we have the strength for it, relentless time seems not to concern us, so we don’t take advantage of today, there will be so much time tomorrow.

A defining moment is adulthood, with past experience to build on, we plot new goals, new objectives, new aspirations, new projects. Henceforth, we begin new adventures and misfortunes, disappointments, frustrations that will collide with this harsh reality, which in fact is more demanding, but despite all this, we persist in our efforts, nothing can stop us, we have a horizon ahead, envision the future, we envision our breadth.

When we start a new school everything is guaranteed: pencils, notebooks, books and all that is needed to start, as reported (past tense), but the irreverent Today we make a bad play; when it comes time to purchase school uniforms, a dilemma begins. The size usually does not correspond to the current (present tense) size of the student, as it was taken in the middle of last year and apparently did not take into account the growth that occurs from one period to another; however, the Industry delivers the uniforms that were already planned for, and it us now up to tailors and seamstresses to play their role, and less affluent parents must apply their own wits at home.

Back in the classroom, there is another disappointment. There are no teachers, that is teachers to start the school year, but as I already said, everything is guaranteed (from the present, look to the future); for this reason, it’s time to improvise, to unleash the imagination. Anyway there will be a Happy New Year.

With the avatars in the past, at last we come to graduation as technicians or professionals. It has been said that placement is guaranteed (future tense), the truth is that those who do have guaranteed placement are those who go to military service. The other side of the coin is to find a placement, taking into account all the labor restructuring process being carried out, implying that workers are “available,” (as the officials like to say), which means unemployed.

One option that is very popular is self-employment, this method ignores the mechanisms of selection, admission fees, expert committee, no performance evaluation, or defined duties, nor anything like that.

It should be clear that when someone embarks on the exercise of self-employment, no one manages their job placement, state institutions are only responsible for registering them as a contributor to the treasury, and that they do not pose a burden on the State, and they also have to contribute to the Social Security scheme, but there is no guarantee that they will have goods, facilities or supplies for the exercise of their activity (almost always).

The right to work is enshrined in our Constitution and, therefore, employment, but with so many problems, can we talk about tomorrow, full employment, the FUTURE, and is that also certain?

January 24 2013

Italy Reduces Number of Provinces While Cuba Adds Them / Rodrigo Chavez Rodriguez #Cuba

CHAVEZLic. Rodrigo Chávez Rodríguez

An article appeared recently  newspaper Granma the official Organ of the Communist Party of Cuba, entitled Italy eventually to eliminate forty provinces, which aroused my curiosity.

Italy has developed industry, is an exporter and importer, a state with a long trading tradition, famous for the well-known Italian Mafia, and within its entrails a Lilliputian state coexists, recognized as the Vatican with the Pope. However, it could not escape the expanded worldwide economic and financial crisis.

The article goes on to express that regions and provinces in Italy are often pockets of corruption and waste, which, we must assume, due to geopolitical reasons as well as reasons related to governance and the full exercise of power of those who detest the sovereign power and, therefore, dominate the basic means of production and therefore the economy.

It strongly draws our attention that we are a small, long and narrow Island which, since the time of Spanish colonization, was divided into six regions or provinces. After the Revolution  and with the new political-administrative division, it was divided into 14 provinces and the special municipality of Isla de la Juventud.

Although one would want to say otherwise, this new territorial division forced the dispersed regional or provincial governments, which have different locations, to redistribute the infrastructure, which meant more means and resources for these new settlements, such as transportation, communications, building materials for the exercise of government and administration, signifying that some would be closer to central power than others.

With the shortcomings, limitations and other consequences that coexist in our context — the mechanisms of control, supervision and oversight — it’s not the same to perform these tasks, for example, in the single province of Santiago de Cuba, formerly the Province of Oriente, as in Las Tunas, Holguin, Guantanamo, etc. The current division presupposes the siting if director,  officials,party cadres , and other administrative order to provide coverage for the structure that was generated, with decision-making power in economic, political and social spheres.

If the dispersion of so many regions or provinces in Italy has caused concern and seems in that country to lead to the ineffectiveness of control to be exercised, and also is cause and conditions conducive to corruption and waste, how to explain and understand that in our small, narrow and long island or archipelago, this social phenomenon does not occur, when the movements, demotions or removal from office of directors, officers or cadres, filled by citizens appointed or designated by the sovereign power, have become commonplace.

Is the division into many more provinces well thought out and in keeping with true reality? What will be the results? Will there be the LAW there?


January 16 2013

Hold on and wait a few minutes please. The lines are busy. / Rodrigo Chavez Rodriguez #Cuba

1356696026_chavezLic. Rodrigo Chávez Rodríguez

Shall we carry on waiting a few minutes? When we have already waited decades, we continue every day a bit more painfully dealing with the lines, or rather the twists of this “planet Cuba”

When I talk about twists, what I am obviously getting at is that at least they should give us some idea of how to follow the tricky route to actually communicate something, which is every day more controlled by the armed institutions of our Republic of Cuba. PNR*, DTI*, Immigration and Aliens, DSE* (Eyesight Test, known as Cajoteros because of its old initials KJ, as in “KT”, meaning illegal Phone Tapping).

We are also becoming subject to the latest technology such as “KE” (Checks in the Ether), “KF” (Checks on Films), “KM” (Microphone Checks) and the customary checking over letters and documents official and unofficial “KC” (Correspondence Checks) , like those to do with Illegal Arrest, without any legal recourse and completely ignoring what is expected and established in the Laws of this PLANET CUBA, on the part of the police instructors (DTI, DSE), who expect to be called Lawyers, when all they have is a Degree in Rights, which isn’t the same thing. Respect them!

Everyone is subject to this. From a Cuban citizen or foreigner of any position in society, to a tourist and including political leaders, and accredited diplomats both national and visiting.

Our Public Prosecutor will watch out for the true and only legality in any proceeding, delivering with absolute and clear justice its verdict and firm sentence via POPULAR TRIBUNALS, or, as applicable, those of the People, in relation to people of whatever position in society.

Those who find it impossible to give in to the powerful, will not be waiting for a few minutes please nor GETTING OFF THE LINE

In this way, phone calls are not guaranteed, and calls for our RIGHTS confirmed in our CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC, in the unknown UNITED NATIONS AGREEMENTS, which are  unknown to the great majority of the population and whatever RIGHTS experts.

Don’t hang up, don’t let them carry on making us wait any longer, for the only opportunity to speak more and more clearly. Don’t block the lines PLEASE.

Translator’s Notes:
PNR: National Revolutionary Police
DTI: Technical Department of Investigations
DSE: Department of State Security

Translated by GH

December 28 2012

The Dilemma of Economic Contracting (2) / Cuban Law Association, Rodrigo Chavez #Cuba

Lic. Rodrigo Chávez

The underutilization of the attorney and the little or poor participation accorded to him in the contracting process, ultimately leads to problems with regards to the intentions or expected outcomes of the established relations.

In any state agency, it is not difficult to see that the activity of the lawyer, or the legal counsel, the attorney, or whatever you call him, is limited or tied to the development of disciplinary action, claims that could have been avoided, had he worked on the economics of the case, or even in some instances as secretary to the Board of Directors. In the latter role, discrepancies exist because some people advocate for him and others do not, but in the end, whenever one is in a subordinate role, the decision of the boss prevails without exception. A rational use of human capital makes sense, but in the same vein is the irrational use of the attorney.

There are lines which lead to imperfections in contracts, their normal development, and given that in the end a contract is a voluntary agreement, these must be true, solid, achievable objectively true and not fictitious, things that in our day constitute justification, failures to meet production or distribution or provide services, the inadequate or improper use of the contract; it would not be improper to speak in these terms same terms with regards to planning.

The labyrinth through which contracting passes, affects the stipulations for agricultural production, as well as those for supplies, and even the execution of the work; in these three alone the incidence rate is so negative, it deserves special attention devoted to it, given that even if the performance of a farmer’s harvest exceeds expectations that, too, does not meet the objective of achieving the terms because it was not reflected in the contract.

How is it possible that markets are largely unserved, making it possible to supplement the initial contract, but here’s another great dilemma: if it is nefarious to fail to meet the plan, it is more nefarious to over fulfill it. They would have to walk hand in hand as binomial-procurement planning. With proper planning, could well provide an adequate contract, and with a good solution, it would lead to a good distribution and a high probability of satisfying the consumer, right?

October 2 2012

The Dilemma of Economic Contracting (1) / Cuban Law Association, Rodrigo Chavez #Cuba

By Lic. Rodrigo Chávez

Monotony? War of attrition? Psychological pressure? False expectations? Or direct or indirect solutions in the short, medium or long term?

With so many questions, we do not know how to start, but it is true and, as always, there is a beginning and an end, that … God forbid, has started and can be completed, directly or indirectly in the short, medium or long term.

The issue of contracting, which is so inherent to the Cuban, that you can almost say he has become a specialist in this area without even knowing the essential elements that comprise it, suffice it to say that “horse trading” or “haggling” or whatever you want to call it is a daily form of establishing contractual relations between two or more people who want to be engaged in a relationship, legal or illegal (it’s very trendy in the underground market), and even though the State knows it, it cannot act effectively against them and believe me, in this market there is more than enough supply to meet the demand.

Let’s look at the issue of the newspaper Granma, on August 3, 2012, on page 4, titled Companies Must Play Their Part, by the journalist Ivette Sosa Hernandez. We ask ourselves, if the international contraction goes badly, as required, is contracting at the national level in good health? The rules for international contracts (covering a larger number of subjects, different economies, etc.), are not the same as those that apply to the national (internal order in the state enterprise sector and even in the private sector).

Indeed, the laws and regulations that still apply to economic contracting, do not conform to current conditions, so we can infer they have been frozen in time.

Both internationally and nationally, concluding a legal instrument of the magnitude of a contract, involves a solemn act, seriousness, responsibility, rights and obligations for the parties, but is primarily a meeting of the minds, wills backed by trust and commitment to its full implementation, so much so that in its commitment and arbitration clauses it does not become a dead letter.

Formalism, has become for Cuban entrepreneurs, something commonplace and everyday and therefore close to creativity, so it is unusual to speak about about bidding, negotiating; in such cases, the lawyer’s voice or intervention is usually relegated to the background, the lawyer is not on the plane where he should be but is called in cases of default, when conflict is already imminent, when given sufficient time he would have known the state of gestation that led to the evolution, development and delivery of such conflict.

October 1 2012

Is Disorganization Institutionalized in Our Society, or Is Our Society Institutionalized Disorganization? / Cuban Law Association, Rodrigo Chavez Rodriguez

Foto: OLPL

Rodrigo Chávez Rodríguez, Esq.

For Cubans today it no longer seems strange, much less unusual. A lack of punctuality affects any number of activities, whether they be in the workplace, the classroom or at celebrations. There is always some excuse. The bus did not come; they turned off the lights when I was having visitors; the water shut off when I went to take a bath; etc.

Although there might be valid justifications, they are daily occurrences that have become persistent issues, and are now one in the same.

The critical moment occurs when we try unsuccessfully to find out why from the agencies responsible for transportation, electricity, water, or whatever it might be. The responses from each one of them to the problem at hand are no more than mere excuses.

As a general rule the problems of transportation, electricity, water, or anything else are always blamed on the fifty-year-old unbending and illegal blockade. However, the vast majority of problems we face on a daily basis are rooted in the lack of organization prevalent in all spheres of activity.

Aside from the lack of replacement parts and accessories necessary to achieve the optimum benefit from parking spaces, there is no adequate plan for their use in response to the interests and needs of the populace. One could ask: Wouldn’t it be possible to contract post-market services abroad?

Under the current conditions, the acquisition of the means of transportation is carried out through “friendly” countries, which provide us with easy credit. Is it not possible to carry out a serious and thorough study that would allow for the orderly planning of bus schedules that takes into account customer demand?

After all these years have there been no graduates in engineering who specialize in transportation management? How is it possible that private transport providers can satisfy the needs of the populace with punctuality but those of the state cannot? Why do the famous reinforcements appear as if by magic? And then there is air and rail transport. It is nothing less than a miracle if arrivals and departures occur on schedule. No doubt there are justifications for these too.

If all planning undertaken in “time of war” carries over into “time of peace, then we can be sure that disorganization will be permanently institutionalized.

There are always justifications for the lack of power, electricity or water supply. They have now become common. While we are informed about disruptions, breakdowns, maintenance and other issues, it is undeniable that these almost always occur when we least expect them. In other words not at opportune times or on schedule. Nothing, or almost nothing, is well-planned or well-organized.

These are only a few examples of how organized the disorganization is, how institutionalized it is. One could broaden the scope and look at other recurring problems such as academic courses, the distribution of medications and other issues that would make up an endless and tiresome list.

At the start of every academic course, there are assurances that “everything is planned and very well-organized.” As the course proceeds, however, there are shortages of certain things. It could be fuel, it could be the basic course materials, it could be various sorts of input, etc.

The issue of medications and their distribution is, in large part, an irrefutable example of the institutionalization of disorganization, especially of those items distributed through the well-known “ration card.” In other words, medications that are controlled.  An exhaustive system of control has been set up to register individuals, yet when these same individuals go to a pharmacy to obtain their supposedly controlled medications, they find they are no longer available.

Maintenance of the distribution systems for electrical energy and water require planning. How unlike our own reality! When there are problems due to maintenance, disruptions or breakdowns, this implies that service is not available and, therefore, is not being used. But – wonder of wonders! – although charges are based on kilowatts per hour, we find out when the bill arrives that those hours, when nothing was being consumed, were not taken into account.

If there were a real desire for organization, one need only look to private sector workers as an example, whether they be in the transportation, restaurant or service industry. The first “organizers” pave the way, the second ones maintain a standard of excellence, and the third benefit from word-of-mouth.

If there is no justice and fairness, bread becomes charity.

Translated by Maria Montoto

August 15 2012

Utopia or Reality? / Cuban Law Association, Rodrigo Chavez Rodriguez

By: Lic. Rodrigo Chávez Rodríguez

You don’t have to be skilled in economics to notice the gaps that instability in all spheres brings with it; every time you wake up it’s a holding pattern and we imagine we are dreaming, even if it’s the afternoon. To go to a market, a store, always generates an interaction between the clients and a representative of the State. In all or almost all establishment there is a “suggestion box” which is never honored because you only have to look inside to see that it’s empty, not because there are no complaints or suggestions, but because of the work and art of whoever is in charge of that entity.

As a general rule the complaints fall on deaf ears and as a general rule to demand, “as it’s established” means “deaf ears,” then how to demand our rights, which they say are protected by law, a Law that still lives in time and space, not respected.

I always remember Benito Juarez — a man from Oaxaca who served five terms as president of Mexico — who said, “Respect for the rights of others is peace,” and peace and respect is what we Cubans deserve. I just think about this, it would be a utopia for us.

It’s painful the way they mistreat us and trample our Constitutional rights, their “deaf ears,” man lives not by bread alone, the lack of shame and decorum, and when on occasion we are treated well, it’s rigged from behind, the disrespect for our rights, the right to receive a return for a purchase or service received, the right to not only address the complaints, which as a general rule point out deficiencies or difficulties, they always count on the blessing of those who must face them.

The National Assembly of People’s Power was in session last week, it is worrying that such timely topics were not discussed. Assuming that the guideline of the Party were discussed by all the people, and they collected the complaints and suggestions made, these rights would undoubtedly be a concern for the leadership, there has been talk of shortages in commerce, but nothing has been said of the causes which arise: how long have we been listening to rhetorical speeches, unconvincing and with no resolution, and how much longer do we have to wait?

Another question that caught my attention was the speech of Vice President Marino Murillo, when he suggested that “the 2011 plan will be liquidated,” how it’s possible that “there’s money left or it wasn’t used” when the correct thing would have been to use it all in alleviating the needs of our people. On what objective basis was this year’s budget established? What were the reasons why the money wasn’t used? Who is ultimately responsible? Who do they answer to? How can it be made public? It is our right or not? Is it a utopia or a reality?

What the enemy has heard is just the voice of attack. José Martí

August 21 2012

No to the Life Sentence of Citizen Rights / Cuban Law Association

Photo OLPL

By Atty. Rodrigo Chavez Rodriguez

Prison is not the only captivity of an existence.

An unhappy multitude marches dragging the misery of its moral life, chained to its ignorance and defenselessness.

Prisoners without hope and without solace: slaves without redemption and without relief, traveling on this boat of society lacking faith, orphans of will, with null understanding, blind to reason and alien to the rights they should know and defend.

Upon initiation of the shipwreck, they are the first victims because it falls upon them, due to their ignorance and their lack of educational preparation, to serve as a bridge for the salvation of others, to be a step for others to ascend.

That is the major captive, the eternal prisoner, the slave without horizons:

The one who groans under the shackles of their intimate sentence; because lacking will and character, without the light of intelligence, without knowledge of their own soul and being denied their human and constitutional rights, they lack liberty of conscience and become one forced to the opprobrious bench of the strange galley, where screaming and with a level of public announcement increasingly encompassing demands: we want justice, THE TRUE JUSTICE AND LIBERTY OF THE CITIZENS.

We Cubans have had imposed upon us faking or simulating something with which we are not truly in agreement. The fear and lack of knowledge which exempt no one from responsibility in life, do not permit establishing a system of inquiry or dialogue, because we would not know if the responses are in keeping with the truth or with the double standards, so rooted in personal interests.

Not only are they hypocrites those who tell lies feigning good faith, but also those who know they are lies and pretend they are truths. Worse yet, they become merged with the falsehood.

It is an ill planted in Cuban society by an ideology and principles that do not accept difference of opinions, a situation which clearly manifests the disrespect and the violation that rides roughshod over the most basic civil rights of our population. What will become of Article 54 of our Law of Laws:

The rights of assembly, protest and association are exercised by the workers – laborers and intellectuals, farmers, women, students and other sectors of the working public – for which they have use of the means necessary for such ends. The mass and social organizations can make use of all the facilities for the development of these activities and so that their members may enjoy the greatest degree of FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND OPINION, based on the unlimited RIGHT to initiative and criticism.

Lying, along with hypocrisy and a double standard, continues to be another irreparable evil. Institutions themselves make use of it daily. It is a means of survival used to put to rest or to hide many truths which constitute CRIMES and that have led many Cubans to death, exile or prison. It is a means that has led to to the separation of families and the rupture of their emotional bonds. I cite the following:

Article 35. The State shall protect the family, motherhood and matrimony.

The State recognizes the family as the fundamental unit of society and attributes to it essential functions in education and the formation of new generations.

Our opinions are deemed as trash and lies paid for by the U.S. government, however the high level of acceptance of these by the people cannot be hidden, because they thirst for information and legal instruction, for knowledge of legal procedures, for justice and in general, for all of their citizen rights.

Every person has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right is inclusive of not being disturbed as a result of their opinions, that of investigating and receiving information and opinions, and that of diffusing them without limitation of borders, by whatever means of expression, Article 19 UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS.

Almost the entire nation has been turned into pretenders, although they have been demonstrating criticisms of nonconformity that were once highly dangerous, such as: “I didn’t know!”, “If only someone had told me!”, “Where I go, no one clarifies or explains things to me.”, “How much longer, what is going on?”, “Who will resolve my problem?”, “I’ve had it, that’s enough!”

The methods of mis-information of the Government that repeats daily about the economic, political and social problems of all of the capitalist countries and that justifies its actions against the people by using what happens in other parts of the terrestrial globe. It’s the same old same old. The truth is that what we are most interested in are the millions of problems which we Cubans face daily and, if you please, the question is forced but the reply is unseen: How Much Longer?

The struggle to maintain the political system, and not that of benefiting the country and its people, is the first goal on behalf of the Leaders, but without any doubt to also keep them handicapped of hearing and sight to what occurs in the country. This brings with itself among other things, the lack of knowledge of the laws and their procedures, of the knowledge of Legality and the ways and methods of imparting Justice; as well as their Constitutional and Human Rights.

Additionally, but in the same way and style, we put up with listening and reading of the priority to JUDICIAL SERVICES, in the informational spaces of Cuban Television such as Mesa Redonda (Roundtable), in the words of judicial star Maria Esther Reus Gonzalez, … We HAPPEN UPON a wide range of functions and services to persons natural and legal in the country… It is fundamental in our current daily work to detect an action that goes against ethical principles, to carry out an even greater effort to develop strategies in order to perfect the Services and continue decentralizing and extending them… We have identified our vulnerabilities and with the valuable human capital we have, we will struggle to perfect our daily activities and achieve the satisfaction that our people deserve. It is furthermore explained that the quality of legal services is not yet optimal, that more jurists are needed and that which in Cuba should be at the level of the culture, the conscience acquired by our people (?) and will satisfy the needs in this matter.

Recently I have seen on banners and signs and have heard from the newscasters in the Primero de Mayo parade – the day of workers, by the workers and for the workers – that: WORK IS THE ONLY FOUNTAIN OF WEALTH. Could it be that the Cuban Legal Association may at some time be wealthy? Well I affirmatively believe that we already are, as long as they allow us to reach our objectives with an affirmative response of its legalization for the well-being of those who truly will be rich. Rich and knowledgeable of their legitimate rights, of the proceedings and in most instances their disrespected terms, of the manipulations and intricacies by Judges and Tribunals at any level, of the abusive actions on occasion by Agents of Interior Order and the officials who should take care of our Security of State, without fear I say in that manner we will be very rich and will have enough to share mutually and internationally.

We have not saved all justice, but we must save that justice which we have already conquered.

Translated by: Maria Montoto

May 23 2012