Crossroads / Cuban Law Association, Wilfredo Vallin Almeida

By Lic. Wilfredo Vallín  Almeida

Three youths were arrested violently, forced into a police car, and taken to a national police station where they were held for about 24 hours under interrogation by the State Security.

The reason: Handing out leaflets for the Citizen Demand for Another Cuba which, weeks before, had been delivered by its developers to the People’s National Assembly where it was received and given the number 1207, on June 20, 2012.

Although police violence is a fact that occurs almost daily in our country — the record of it is shown in photos, videos and interviews by independent media, bloggers and others — this case in particular, by its connotation, deserves special consideration.

When we speak at the police station with the agents of the political police who handled this case, we noticed several things to be discussed below.

First they told us that these young people had been arrested “for distributing propaganda in the public street.” Although they didn’t use the term “enemy,” it was obvious that in referring to propaganda it had to be, because otherwise there was no justification for the arrests.

When we showed the agents that this document had been delivered to the National Assembly of People’s Power without objections on the part of those who received it, they then went on to say “they resisted arrest.”

We will not detail here the argument under International Law that an arrest that begins by being illegal it is not valid for the powers-that-be to later turn it into one that is. That is, at least for now, another issue.

What the agents seemed to look at most strongly was where those sheets had been printed. So what is “important” to them is the printing, not the content. And that can be logically understood because what really worries them is not the actual printing, but the issue that plays out on those sheets.

And the issue is the Covenant of Civil and Political Rights and the Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Human Rights, both of the United Nations (UN).

And we can understand the official concern because:

Cuba is a member of the UN.

Cuba participates in the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

It is seen as an International Rights Organization violating rights, which they reserve to themselves.

There is a plan, for the second or third time, for a UN rapporteur for torture to visit the Island, it’s not known when.

The Cuban government signed its intention to introduce these Covenants on the island on February 28, 2008.

In the case of such documents they cannot characterize them as an “imperialist maneuver against the country” or something like that.

Nor can they imprison those who disclose these covenants or support this campaign because this act would be wholly inconsistent with the principles of the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

They know that, across the whole country, if their content and perspectives are made know to Cubans, there would be countless citizens who would support that demand.

The problems with the UN are not the same as with the harmless, unarmed and defenseless peaceful Cuban opponents.

And this only highlights some aspects of the problem.

Now the question is, of course, very difficult, in the hands of those who can resolve it, or who can conceal it Cuba, if they continue to speak in the tone of arrogance and power with which they spoke with us at the Sixth Police Station.

I think that for those who run things in the government in the country, the defining word today is: CROSSROADS.

September 13 2012