Cuban Opponents Petition Parliament to Pass a Law on the Right to Protest

View of a session of Cuba’s National Assembly of the People’s Power, in an archive photograph (EFE/Ernesto Mastrascusa)

14ymedio biggerEFE (via 14ymedio), Havana, 14 December 2022 — On Tuesday, a group of 500 citizens from opposition organizations requested that Cuba’s National Assembly of the People’s Power approve a law guaranteeing the rights to protest and to assemble, which are included in the 2019 Constitution.

Representatives of the Council for a Democratic Transition in Cuba, the NGO Cubalex, and other groups demanded that this issue be taken up during the extraordinary session of parliament planned for the first quarter of 2023.

They noted that the discussion and approval of this norm is included in the 2020-2023 legislative timeline, but was excluded “without justification” when the 2022 agenda was modified as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The inexcusable exclusion is contrary to the popular mandate given to the State’s Constitution in February of 2018, following popular consultations on the draft and through which Cuban society expressed, exceeding the limits of the consultation itself, its demands for more rights for more people,” the statement declares.

Cuban opponent and academic Manuel Cuesta Morúa is one of the signers of the petition, accessed by EFE, which was sent directly to the President of the National Assembly, Esteban Lazo.

“The approval of this law is urgent and fundamental,” state the solicitors, who denounced that many Cubans are in prison “for the peaceful exercise of their human and constitutional rights, amid the absence of judicial and legal precision to support them.”

According to the last report from NGO Prisoners Defenders, at the end of last month, there were 1,034 political prisoners in Cuba, most of them people who had participated in the antigovernment protests of July 11th, 2021. Justicia 11J has documented hundreds of arrests as a result of those protests.

The petition was published during the tenth period of the current legislative session, which from yesterday and until tomorrow discusses several laws, among them the 2023 Economic Plan.

Translated by: Silvia Suárez


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