In 2012, the situation of freedom of expression in Cuba has been similar to the situation in recent years. The IACHR has repeatedly indicated that Cuba is the only country in the America in which one can say that there is no guarantee whatsoever for the right to freedom of expression. The following paragraphs describe some of the problems that arise in Cuba in the exercise of that right.
1. Detentions, acts of aggression and threats to journalists and media outlets
As pointed out in the previous section, the IACHR received information on the various acts of harassment and detentions of the group “Ladies in White” [“Las Damas de Blanco”]. According to available information, on February 9, 2012, at least 15 members of the Ladies in White were prevented from leaving their homes or they would have been arrested to keep them from attending a workshop organized by blogger Yoani Sánchez. One of the women who attempted to attend, Aimé Cabrales, was reportedly beaten by women and several police officers who besieged her home. On February 19, the Archbishop of Santiago de Cuba, Monsignor Dionisio García Ibáñez, reportedly helped evacuate some 14 women from the Ladies in White who had taken refuge in the Basilica of the Virgin of Charity [Nuestra Señora del Cobre] after mass, and that they declared they were going on a hunger strike in response to being under siege by pro-government groups said to be threatening them.73 On February 23, a sizable group of pro-government demonstrators staged an act of repudiation [“mitin de repudio”] and for several hours blocked the entry and exit of the Ladies in White in Havana when some 40 women were in a building in commemoration of the second anniversary of the death of dissident Orlando Zapata. Several persons who participated in the tribute were said to have been detained by the political police.74 On March 17 and 18, 2012 nearly 70 Ladies in White were reported detained on commemorating the ninth anniversary of Black Spring [Primavera Negra].75 On April 18, 13 of the Ladies in White were said to have been arrested to keep them from holding their monthly meeting, held the 18th of each month. Another group of women were kept from leaving their homes to attend the meeting. According to the information available, in April nearly 97 Ladies were arrested to keep them from attending Sunday mass in different cities.76 On May 27, 13 Ladies were reportedly arrested to keep them from attending Sunday mass in different parts of the country. That day five Ladies in White were detained in El Condado, Santa Clara.77 On June 15, nearly 30 Ladies in White were detained to keep them from attending a “literary tea” and celebrating Fathers Day in the different parts of Cuba. Twenty-two of these detentions were said to have occurred in Guantánamo and Granma, Palma Soriano, and Santiago de Cuba, and eight others in Villa Clara while the persons detained were traveling to Havana.78 On July 18, 30 Ladies in a group were detained at their homes to keep them from attending the “literary tea.” According to the information available, members of government security visited them at their homes, and threatened and warned them that if they attended that meeting they would be taken to jail for 72 hours.79 On September 20, 50 Ladies in White were reportedly detained while on their way to Havana to participate in activities organized to commemorate the political activists who died the day of Our Lady of Ransom [la Virgen de la Merced] and released September 22 and 23.80 On November 11, 44 women members of the organization were detained and beaten by police and State Security agents while attempting to attend Sunday mass.81 As of the writing of this report, the detentions of the Ladies in White continued to be systematic, impeding the exercise of their right to assembly and to demonstrate at the events convened by the organization.
The Commission was informed of the October 4 detention of Yoani Sánchez, an independent blogger and critic of the Government of Cuba, along with her husband, journalist Reinaldo Escobar, and blogger Agustín López Canino Díaz. According to the information received, the three persons detained were on their way to cover trial regarding the death of Cuban dissident Oswaldo Payá when they were detained, presumably so they would not interfere in the trial. They were released 30 hours after being detained.82 The information available indicates that other journalists were detained allegedly in relation to the trial.83 According to the information received, Sánchez was detained once again on November 8 along with bloggers and journalists Orlando Luís Pardo, Eugenio Leal, Julio Aleaga, Angel Santiesteban, Guillermo Fariñas, and Iván Hernández Carrillo, after demonstrating against the detention of other human rights defenders across from a police station in Havana.84
In May 2012, journalist Gerardo Younel Ávila, a photo-journalist with Hablemos Press, was said to have been detained on leaving his house in the municipality of Cerro. Later, he was reportedly detained again on June 23, July 14, and July 28. Journalist Enyor Díaz Allen of the same agency was detained when travelling from Cuba to Guantánamo. On July 23 he was detained for 72 hours. On June 11 editor Ernesto Aquino of Hablemos Press was said to have been summoned by the authorities. On June 23 journalist Magaly Norvis Otero was also said to have been summoned to a police station where she was reportedly warned that should would be jailed if she continued her journalism and “enemy propaganda.” These events are said to have occurred after the news agency Hablemos Press had begun the weekly publication of a Newsletter.85
According to the information received, on July 24 journalists and activists Guillermo Fariñas and Julio Aleaga Pesant were held for at least nine hours, along with several political dissidents, on concluding the mass in Havana for deceased opposition leader Oswaldo Payá.86 According to information received, detentions of political dissidents due to their exercise of the freedom of expression escalated in August. According to the Comisión Cubana de Derechos Humanos, that month there were 521 politically-motivated temporary detentions, which in most cases lasted a few hours or days.87 Among the persons detained were dissident leader José Daniel Ferrer, arrested on charges of “public disorderly conduct” [“desórdenes públicos”] on August 23 and released three days later. After July 24, Fariñas was reportedly detained on August 17, 19, 21, and 23.88 In addition, on September 1 blogger Orlando Luis Pardo was reportedly detained in Havana for nine hours when he was preparing to attend and participate as moderator in a roundtable discussion to analyze current issues in Cuba.89
According to the information received, artist Yanoski Mora was detained on September 29 purportedly for having painted reproductions of photographs of Fidel Castro in a meeting with indigenous leaders in the United States in which he was wearing feathered headdress.90 In addition, journalist and lawyer Yaremis Flores was reportedly detained on November 7 for approximately 24 hours by agents who made reference to her reports. Flores had written articles critical of the Government of Cuba. Her detention was said to have inspired demonstrations by other journalists and human rights defenders, at least 36 of whom were also reported to have been detained by the security forces.91
The IACHR was informed of the threats that had been received by independent journalist Odelín Alfonso Torna, made by a former officer of the political police on February 7, 2012. According to the information received, in November, 2011 he had published an article at the website CubaNet in which he reported irregular conduct by the agent. The officer was said to have been dismissed because of the publication, and his step-father had warned that he was going to “deal machete blows to” [“machetear”] the journalist. On February 9, the journalist was summoned by the political police to warn him that he should “avoid aggressive journalism.”92
The Inter-American Commission recalls that principle 9 of the Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression of the IACHR establishes: “[t]he murder, kidnapping, intimidation of and/or threats to social communicators, as well as the material destruction of communications media violate the fundamental rights of individuals and strongly restrict freedom of expression. It is the duty of the state to prevent and investigate such occurrences, to punish their perpetrators and to ensure that victims receive due compensation.”
3. Subsequent liability
On November 14, journalist José Antonio Torres of the official daily newspaper Granma was reportedly sentenced to 14 years in prison for espionage, and his university degree in journalism was reportedly suspended.93 According to the information available, Torres was detained in February or March 2011 for allegedly offering to share classified information with representatives of the Government of the United States. In July 2010 and January 2011 Torres had published reports critical of alleged anomalies committed in the construction of a major aqueduct in Santiago, under the direct supervision of the vice-president of the Council of State, Commander Ramiro Valdés Menéndez. The articles were originally praised by President Raúl Castro, who admitted he “had discrepancies” with some of the journalist’s ways of approaching the matter, but he sent him an “acknowledgement” for his steadfastness (“constancia”) in keeping track of the project.94
The Commission was informed of the detention of Calixto Ramón Martínez Arias, a journalist with the agency Hablemos Press, on September 16, in the context of a criminal proceeding against him for desacato. Martínez Arias had been detained at the international airport while investigating alleged irregularities in the handling of drugs provided to Cuba by the World Health Organization. According to the information received, he was beaten and sprayed with pepper spray in the custody of the National Revolutionary Police of Santiago de Las Vegas. Martínez Arias was said to have investigated and written on the cholera and dengue outbreaks in Cuba before the Government recognized the problem.95 The Commission learned that Martínez had reportedly been transferred to a punishment cell on November 20 and that he was on a hunger strike as of late November.96 Martínez had previously been detained on May 10 in Havana while covering an activity organized by opposition groups and was later said to have been transferred against his will to the province of Camaguey.97
4. Other relevant situations
In February 2012 Cuban authorities were said to have denied Yoani Sánchez permission to leave Cuba to travel to Brazil. She had been invited to participate in the presentation of a documentary on freedom of the press for which she had been interviewed. Sánchez obtained a visa to enter Brazil. She noted in her Twitter account that it was the nineteenth time the Cuban State had prevented her from leaving the country.98
The IACHR was informed of several actions by the authorities against independent journalists before and after the visit by Pope Benedict XVI, on March 27 and 28. According to the information received, the telephones of several journalists and dissidents had been disconnected, among them journalists Aini Martín Valero, José Antonio Fornaris, Luis Cino, Jorge Olivera, Juan González Febles, Dania Virgen García, Gustavo Pardo, Eugenio Leal, Calixto Ramón Martínez, and Roberto de Jesús Guerra. Journalists Alberto Méndez Castelló and Luis Felipe Rojas were said to have been detained by the Police for several hours.99 On March 23, journalist Julio Alega Pesant was reportedly detained for several hours and taken forcibly from the city of Santiago de Cuba to Havana to keep him from covering the Pope’s visit.100
On May 12, bloggers Eugenio Leal and Miriam Celaya were said to have been intercepted by the Police, who kept them from participating in a public activity convened by the social network Observatorio Crítico.101 The IACHR was informed that the Cuban authorities had threatened to prevent a concert from being held that was organized by the group Por Otra Cuba; its purpose was to promote ratification by Cuba of the human rights treaties of the United Nations. According to the information received, the concert was held on September 28.102
The first principle of the Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression of the IACHR establishes: “[f]reedom of expression in all its forms and manifestations is a fundamental and inalienable right of all individuals. Additionally, it is an indispensable requirement for the very existence of a democratic society.” And Principle 13 of the Declaration of Principles stipulates: “[t]he exercise of power and the use of public funds by the state, the granting of customs duty privileges, the arbitrary and discriminatory placement of official advertising and government loans, the concession of radio and television broadcast frequencies, among others, with the intent to put pressure on and punish or reward and provide privileges to social communicators and communications media because of the opinions they express threaten freedom of expression, and must be explicitly prohibited by law. The means of communication have the right to carry out their role in an independent manner. Direct or indirect pressures exerted upon journalists or other social communicators to stifle the dissemination of information are incompatible with freedom of expression.” The fifth principle establishes: “[p]rior censorship, direct or indirect interference in or pressure exerted upon any expression, opinion or information transmitted through any means of oral, written, artistic, visual or electronic communication must be prohibited by law. Restrictions to the free circulation of ideas and opinions, as well as the arbitrary imposition of information and the imposition of obstacles to the free flow of information violate the right to freedom of expression.”
E. Respect and guarantee by the State of the rights of assembly and association
According to the American Declaration every person has the right to work103, to assemble peaceably104, and to associate with others to promote, exercise, and protect his or her legitimate interests.105 As regards the freedom of association, the Commission reiterates its concern over the existence of a single trade union federation officially recognized and mentioned in Cuban legislation, which has been the subject of permanent attention of the International Labor Organization. The Commission, in agreement with the International Labor Organization, considers that trade union pluralism should be possible in all cases, and that the law should not institutionalize a de facto monopoly on referring to a specific union federation.106 The Commission wishes to highlight that one of the guiding principles of the International Labor Organization, of which Cuba is a signatory, includes “recognition of the principle of freedom of association” as an essential requirement for “the peace and harmony of the world.”
F. Observance and guarantee of the exercise of freedom of movement and residence
The American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man provides that “Every person has the right to fix his residence within the territory of the state of which he is a national, to move about freely within such territory, and not to leave it except by his own will.”107 The Commission considers that although the American Declaration does not explicitly recognize every person’s right to return to his or her country, that right is implicitly recognized in the Declaration. The IACHR has held that “[t]he right of every person to live in his own country, to leave and return when he deems convenient […]” is an elementary right that "is recognized in every international instrument that protects human rights.”108 In effect, Article 13(2) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides that "Anyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to it."
The IACHR has observed that according to the texts cited above, the right of residence and movement is related to the right of nationality. The latter is recognized in Article XIX of the American Declaration, and the Commission has underscored that its observance is an imperative and has condemned situations in which the right to nationality is violated as a result of the government’s action against its political adversaries.109
The Commission believes that exercise of the right to freedom of residence and movement can under no circumstances lead to the loss of nationality, and were such a penalty imposed for exercising that right, it would be unlawful; hence, no government can threaten loss of nationality to prevent a person from returning to his native country, regardless of status.110
Since 1983, the Commission has expressed its concern over the failure to protect the right of residence and movement in Cuba, recognized in Article VIII of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man. The right to residence and movement includes several dimensions: (a) the right of every person to fix his or her residence in the territory of the State of which he or she is a national; (b) the right of every person to move about freely within that territory; and (c) the right of every person not to leave the territory of the state of which he or she is a national other than by his or her own will.
1. The right of residence and movement or transit in the City of Havana
The Constitution of Cuba recognizes that citizens – without distinction as to race, color of skin, sex, religious beliefs, national origin, and any other distinction harmful of human dignity – may be domiciled in any sector, zone, or neighborhood of the cities and may stay in any hotel.111 Nonetheless, and despite the constitutional provision, the Commission observes that in Cuba restrictions persist that impede the full exercise of this right by any person to reside freely in the territory of Cuba.
Decree 217 of 1997112, on domestic migratory regulations for the city of Havana, restricted the right to reside freely in that city for those persons who, originally from other parts of the country, seek to establish their domicile in, reside in, or live permanently in a dwelling situated in the city of Havana, or those who, coming from other municipalities, seek to establish domicile, reside in, or live permanently in a dwelling in the municipalities of La Habana Vieja, Centro Habana, Cerro, and Diez de Octubre, and it requires that they request permission from administrative authorities in order to reside in the capital. That decree imposed fines and the obligation to return to the place of origin for those persons who violate its provisions. The foundation of the Cuban government for implementing the restrictions of Decree 217 of 1997 is that “[i]n recent years there [has been] a movement of persons who, coming from other territories of the country move to the City of Havana for the purpose of establishing their domicile, residing, or living with another person, which increase[d] in that City the already serious housing problem, the difficulties ensuring stable employment, adequate urban transport, and the support of water, electricity, domestic fuel, and impact[ed] on the quality of the services needed.”
Accordingly, persons interested in residing in the city of Havana had to request authorization to reside there permanently, and doing so in violation of the domestic Cuban provisions exposed the persons to fines and to being deported to their place of origin. The implementation of Decree 217 meant that dozens of persons were detained by the police and forced to return to their places of origin. According to Human Rights Watch, this decree was “often used to prevent dissidents from traveling to Havana to attend meetings, and to harass dissidents from other parts of Cuba who live in the capital.”113
Article 5 of Decree No. 217 of 1997 was amended by Decree No. 293 of 2011, by which an exception is made for the requirement to go through the authorization procedure for certain persons from other provinces who request to make a permanent move to the city of Havana114, which includes: (a) the spouse, children, parents, grandparents, grandchildren, and siblings of the person authorized; (b) the minor children of the spouse of the person authorized; (c) the persons found legally incompetent; (d) the nuclear family of the person to whom real property is assigned as a matter of the interest of the state or society. The Commission values the reform; nonetheless, it observes that restrictions that have a detrimental impact on the right to residence and movement continue in place.
The Commission considers that the internal migration regulations for the city of Havana have a detrimental impact on the right of every person to determine freely his or her place of residence and on the right to freedom of movement. In addition, these restrictions have an impact on other rights such as the right to equality before the law and the principle of non-discrimination and the right to protection of the family. In this context, the Commission recommends to the Cuban State that it repeal Decree 217 of 1997, as well as its supplemental provisions, and that it adopt the measures necessary for guaranteeing to all persons the rights to freely determine their place of residence and the freedom of movement in Cuban territory.
2. The right to freedom of movement
In Cuba the right to freedom of movement is not recognized constitutionally, which poses an obstacle to its exercise. According to the Law on Migration, Law No. 1312 of 1976, to leave and enter the national territory, Cubans require a current passport and a permit to enter and leave, granted by the Ministry of Interior.115 In practice the Cuban authorities have a series of requirements that pose an obstacle for Cubans to be able to exit and enter the country freely. Some of these requirements include: the need for certificates or declarations from employers or their family members in support of the request, the exact description of the itinerary, the requirement of posting a repatriation bond, being in possession of a return ticket, and having an invitation from the destination State or from persons who live there, among others. In addition, the Law does not stipulate a time for the authority to rule on the request for permission; in general, the requesters have to wait a long time to obtain permission to exit or enter. The decisions of the Ministry of Interior officials who refuse the exit or entry permits cannot be appealed to a court since they emanate from the exercise of a discretional power.
On October 16, 2012, Decree-Law No. 302 was promulgated by the Council of State; it amends the 1976 Law on Migration; this reform will come into force on January 14, 2013. Among the main changes to the Law on Migration are the partial elimination of the requirement for authorization to leave the territory; the length of the period required for a Cuban national who has travelled abroad to be considered as an émigré, which was extended from 11 to 24 months; the elimination of the need for a letter of invitation from the country to which one intends to travel; and the possibility of children being able to travel on a temporary basis so long as they have the authorization of their parents or legal representatives. Before this reform Cuban children could only leave the country definitively.
Even though Decree-Law No. 302 of 2012 reflects advances with respect to the Law on Migration, the Commission observes that it establishes a series of situations in which certain Cuban nationals who reside in Cuba will not be able to obtain a regular passport or will not be able to leave the country “mindful of national defense and security concerns”; for “lacking the established authorization pursuant to provisions aimed at preserving the skilled work force for the country’s economic, social, and scientific-technical development, and the protection of official information”; “when for other reasons of public interest it is so determined by the authorities vested with such powers”; among other reasons. The Commission observes that the general wording of certain terms confers a broad margin of discretion on the Cuban authorities to allow or not allow the exit of Cuban nationals.
Despite the recent reforms to migration legislation in Cuba, the Commission maintains its concern various obstacles continue in place that limit the effective enjoyment of the right to residence and movement.
The Commission was informed that recently, Rosa María Payá, daughter of dissident Oswaldo Payá, who died in a car accident in July 2012, was prevented from travelling to Chile to study a course at Miguel de Cervantes University.116
In addition to the foregoing, the Commission also considers is necessary to note that under the Criminal Code (Articles 216 and 217) sanctions are imposed on those Cubans who leave Cuba in violation of the domestic legislation. According to the provisions of the Criminal Code, the penalty may be up to three years deprivation of liberty, and may be up to eight years if violence or intimidation of persons or force in respect of things is shown, or fines of 300 to 500,000 pesos.117 The Criminal Code also penalizes those persons who organize, promote, or incite the unlawful exit of persons from the national territory. According to information provided by civil society organizations, on occasion such conduct is characterized in the criminal law as trafficking of persons. The Commission thus urges the Cuban State to derogate Articles 216 and 217 of its Criminal Code and to adopt all the constitutional, legislative, administrative, and any other measures to ensure the right of all Cuban persons to leave Cuba freely.
Accordingly, the Commission reiterates its rejection of the provisions of the Criminal Code that establish that whoever leaves the national territory or commits acts aimed at leaving the territory without complying with the legal formalities must be sanctioned with imprisonment or a fine once he or she returns to Cuba. The Commission has considered that such provisions are contrary to and incompatible with the legitimate exercise of the right to residence and movement of all Cubans, as established in Article VIII of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man118; therefore, in the event that a person is detained for the legitimate exercise of his or her right to freedom of movement such a detention would be arbitrary and so contrary to the right to protection from arbitrary arrest, recognized at Article XXV of the American Declaration.
In addition, the Commission observes with concern that as a result of the restrictions on the right of Cubans to freely leave their country, impetus has been given to establishing illicit networks for the illicit trafficking of persons, which make use of both air and sea routes for taking people out of Cuba. Many persons have been forced to take recourse to illicit trafficking of persons as a means of family reunification. In this respect, one must bear in mind that Article 347 of the Criminal Code establishes that trafficking of persons consists of organizing or promoting, for profit, the entry to or exit from the national territory for persons to emigrate to third countries. The sanctions for this crime range from seven to 20 years of deprivation of liberty.119 The Commission has been informed that one generally punishes with equal severity those who enter in a launch in search of migrants and those who, within Cuban territory, become involved in the activity in exchange for leaving the country. With respect to this latter group, the Commission considers that those who leave Cuba in the same conditions and under the same risks as the persons being trafficked should not be considered traffickers. At the same time, the Commission considers it necessary to note that those migrants who have been involved in the illicit trafficking of migrants should not be penalized for such conduct.
The situation of Cubans who travel abroad in relation to personal matters and who remain outside of Cuba for more than 11 months is another matter of concern for the Commission. In the case of Cubans who decide not to return and remain outside Cuba beyond the 11 months, they lose permission to return to Cuba120 and therefore they lose their status as residents of the island. This means they cannot access free services such as health care, education, their right to social security, their right to vote, and their properties. While they do not lose their status as Cuban nationals, the impossibility of returning to Cuba, and of exercising the rights they have as nationals, means that they are unable to enjoy an effective nationality. The Commission has learned of cases of Cuban nationals who after remaining outside Cuba for more than 11 months have been prevented from returning to their country and therefore from exercising the rights they could exercise as Cuban nationals. These provisions also have a direct impact on the right to protection of family life of these persons, who are deprived of the ability to reunite with their relatives who remain in Cuba. In addition, this situation poses additional obstacles for Cuban migrants who are in irregular migratory situations, given that they cannot return to their country of origin nor do they have a migratory situation that enables them to reside regularly in the country in which they find themselves. The Commission observes that as of Decree-Law No. 302 of 2012, the period during which Cubans who travel abroad on private matters can remain outside Cuba is extended from 11 to 24 months121 and one will be allowed to request extensions for stays abroad if they exceed 24 months, which will be granted by a Cuban consulate. The Commission also observes the situation of Cubans who are deported back to Cuba. According to the information available to the Commission, the government only accepts the deportation of one of its nationals if it has migration agreements with the country in which the national is found.
The Commission is aware that since 1987 the permit for repatriation or definitive return to Cuba was established; it is the authorization granted by the Cuban migration authorities for Cubans to return to Cuba permanently, based fundamentally on humanitarian reasons after a request made by the Cuban émigrés on their own behalf and/or on behalf of their minor children. This permit is granted to those persons who are clinically declared terminally ill or critically ill, victims of kidnappings, persons over 60 years of age who show they have the resources for their maintenance, and women over 60 years of age and males over 65 years of age and under 16 years of age, so long as they show that they have family members in Cuba who will guarantee their economic sustenance. If the repatriation permit is authorized, the Cuban authorities warn that if Law No. 989/61, the prior confiscation decision, was applied, it remains firm with respect to assets, properties, rights and securities confiscated.
The Commission observes with concern that in the course of 2012 there has been an increase in the number of Cuban persons who have opted to leave Cuba for various countries of the Americas – mainly to Ecuador given its open borders policy – and from there they continue their migration towards the United States. Once in Ecuador, their journey takes them through Colombia, Panama, the Central American countries, Mexico, and finally the United States. In Costa Rica, just over 900 Cubans have entered the territory from January to June 2012. In December 2011, 18 Cubans were identified on the island of Guanaja, Honduras and in March 2012, 22 Cubans were found on Swan Island, some 90 miles from the coast of mainland Honduras. In addition, along the migration route more than 80 Cuban citizens have been identified in Tapachula, Mexico. Finally, there has also been an increase in the number of Cuban persons in irregular migratory situations who have been intercepted at sea or who have reached the coasts of the United States.
In addition to the foregoing, Cubans who leave the country by sea without authorization are subject to administrative sanctions when they are detected by Cuban authorities along the coasts or at sea. Pursuant to Decree-Law 194, on infractions regarding the possession and operation of vessels in the national territory, 14 infractions are established such as building vessels without authorization, using unlawfully obtained resources in such endeavors, operating a vessel without it being registered with the Harbormaster’s Office, and navigating in territorial waters without permission. The violations are considered slight, serious, and very serious, and subject to sanctions depending on how they are characterized, with fines ranging from 500 pesos to 10,000 pesos, including the possibility of applying, on a subsidiary basis, the sanction of confiscation of the vessel and goods aboard that are the property of the person committing the infraction.
The Commission urges the Cuban State to continue adopting all measures or reforms necessary to fully ensure the right of all Cubans to leave Cuba freely, to circulate freely inside Cuba, to freely choose their place of residence in Cuba, and to freely enter the country; it is clearly necessary to eliminate the restrictions on entry to and exit from the national territory. At the same time, the Commission makes an appeal to the states to guarantee human mobility and to allow or facilitate the entry of Cubans to their territories.