Constitution Threatened by GECAL* / Dora Leonor Mesa

First they took the communists,

and I didn’t say anything because I wasn’t a communist.

Then they took the Jews,

and I said nothing because I wasn’t a Jew.

Then they came for the workers;

I said nothing because I was not a worker or a unionist.

Later they threw out the Catholics,

and I didn’t say anything because I was a Protestant.

And finally, when they took me,

there was no one left to protest.

Martin Niemller

Excerpted from Amnesty International Catalonia, 2001 ,

April 5 2012, 2:00 p.m., Havana: Fourth appearance before the judge of the Civil Chamber of the 10th of October Court, Havana. Counsel for the Builders Group Company of Havana (GECAL) does not appear despite having been notified.

Subject: Request for Execution of Judgment No. 17, final since June 2011, in the lawsuit filed by the Cuban citizen Dora L. Mesa Crespo against the Provincial Microbrigades Company of Havana, now called the GECAL Group.

Three people in black robes, a man and two women, are sitting on the bench. Beneath them, to one side, the young courtroom secretary valiantly tries, by furiously striking the typewriter keys, to write quickly. The device, an old Olivetti, squeaks, gasps, and refuses to obey, making so much noise that it is hard to hear what is being said in the small space. Meanwhile, the Judge sitting in the center asks:

“Let’s clarify this situation. What’s lacking? Have they done anything?”

“Madam President, all that has happened is that the people who occupied the place have left. The other measures called for by the judgment, essentially the demolition, have not been done,” says Dr. Garcia, the legal representative of Mrs. Mesa Crespo.

The President, after hearing the arguments of the lawyer finds:

“. . . therefore the court takes appropriate action to enforce compliance with that decision (Case No. 17/2011) and refers the matter to the Prosecutor, with instructions to cite the defendant Director of GECAL for the crime of disobedience.”

“Anything else?” the judge asks.

“Yes, your honor. So the Court will notify us when it will proceed with the execution of the sentence? It is now up to the Court. We will wait for it.”

“Yes. We have to summon that person in order to see, and not to require . . .”

The plaintiff speaks with her lawyer.

“Your honor, my client wants to tell you something.”

“Yes, tell me.”

“Your honor, I have absolute faith that the law will be enforced, because the attitude of the defendants affects not just my home. GECAL is in breach of the Constitution of the Republic. It is not respecting the judgment of a court. I think that’s much more serious than violating my rights as an owner . . .”

Constitution of the Republic of Cuba

Title XIII

Courts and Prosecution

Article 123. Judgments and other decisions of the courts, issued within the limits of their jurisdiction,must be strictly obeyed by state agencies, business and social entities, and citizens; those directly affected by them, as well as those who do not have a direct interest in their implementation, must comply with them.

Article 127. The Attorney General of the Republic is the State body which has, as its main objectives, the control and preservation of legality, on the basis of strict monitoring of compliance with the Constitution, laws and other legal requirements, by state agencies, business and social entities, and citizens . . .

*Translator’s note: Havana Construction Business Group

April 10 2012