Monthly Report on the Human Rights Situation in Cuba (July 2023) / Cubalex

Cubalex, 8 August 2023 — The month of July was marked by the second anniversary of the 11 July 2021 (11J) anti-government protests and the internal and external reactions it generated.

Inside Cuba, the date provoked a considerable increase in the level of repression, which will be detailed below;  there were several protests in prisons including posters and chanting anti-government slogans, fasting, hunger strikes, shaving of heads and refusal to use mattresses, sewing up mouths, requests for transfer to punishment cells, wearing white clothes, and other forms of peaceful protest. On the streets some people remembered 11J with fasts, walks and individual protests in front of government buildings. During the month there were three street closures in Havana by people protesting against power cuts, lack of water and neglect by the authorities.

In mid-July, the National Assembly of People’s Power (ANPP) met and approved the Military Penal Code Law, which establishes two to five years in prison for anyone who tries to evade military service, which is compulsory in Cuba for male citizens. In presenting the law to the ANPP, the president of the People’s Supreme Court (TSP) Rubén Remigio Ferro defended the continuation of the death penalty in Cuban law as “an element of defence of the Revolution”. ANPP president Esteban Lazo also referred to fines, confiscations, withdrawal of licences and prosecutions of self-employed workers who violate state price control regulations.

Internationally, Cuban President Díaz-Canel headed the Cuban delegation that took part in the European Union-Celac Summit, where, under pressure from the bloc of Latin American countries allied with Russia, the meeting’s declaration did not openly condemn Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. Furthermore, one of the clauses of the document condemned the US embargo against Cuba and denounced the inclusion of the Cuban regime on the list of state sponsors of terrorism. Members of Cuban state and public organisations participated in the People’s Summit, which ran parallel to this event. During the Summit, the Cuban leader held meetings with the President of the European Council and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The complete report can be read here: Informe-Julio-2023

Translated by GH