I. introduction



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V. RECOMMENDATIONS





  1. Taking into consideration all the foregoing, the Commission once again states that the restrictions on political rights, the freedom of expression and the dissemination of ideas, the lack of elections, the lack of independence of the judiciary, and the restrictions on the right to residence and movement add up to a permanent situation of violation of the fundamental rights of Cuban citizens in Cuba and urges the State to make the reforms needed in keeping with its international human rights obligations.




  1. The Commission urges the State of Cuba to bring its procedural laws into line with the applicable international standards on due process so that persons who go before the courts for the determination of their rights and responsibilities can enjoy minimum legal guarantees to mount a defense. In particular, it should void the convictions of the victims in case 12,476.




  1. In addition, the Commission urges the State of Cuba to adopt the legislative and other measures necessary to ensure that the death penalty is not applied in violation of the principles of due process and a fair trial conducted before a competent, independent, and impartial court previously established by law.




  1. The IACHR also urges the Cuban State to eliminate the provisions on “dangerousness” and “special proclivity of a person to commit crimes” found in the Criminal Code.




  1. The Commission urges the Cuban State to adopt measures to prevent and eradicate the different forms of harassment of those who exercise the right to association and assembly for humanitarian and trade union purposes, and against those who are dedicated to defending and promoting human rights.




  1. The Commission also recommends to the Cuban State that it adopt the measures necessary to ensure its citizens the right to freely determine their place of residency, freedom of movement in Cuban territory, and the freedom to leave and enter the country.

260 IACHR, Special Reports from the following years: 1962; 1963; 1967; 1970; 1976; 1979; 1983. At www.iachr.org

261 IACHR, Chapter IV of the Annual Report for the following years: 1990-1991; 1991; 1992-1993; 1993; 1994; 1996; 1997; 1998; 1999; 2000; 2001; 2002; 2003; 2004; 2005; 2006; 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. at www.iachr.org

262 See: IACHR, Merits Report No. 47/96, Case 11,436, Victims of the Tugboat “13 de marzo,” October 16, 1996; IACHR, Merits Report No. 86/99, Case 11,589, Armando Alejandre Jr., Carlos Costa, Mario de la Peña, and Pablo Morales, September 29, 1999; IACHR, Admissibility Report No. 56/04, http://www.cidh.org/annualrep/2004eng/Cuba.12127eng.htm, Vladimiro Roca Antúnez et al., October 14, 2004; IACHR, Admissibility Report No. 57/04, http://www.cidh.org/annualrep/2004eng/Cuba.771.03eng.htm, Oscar Elías Biscet et al., October 14, 2004; IACHR, Admissibility Report No. 58/04, http://www.cidh.org/annualrep/2004eng/Cuba.844.03eng.htm, Lorenzo Enrique Copello Castillo et al., October 14, 2004; IACHR, Merits Report No. 67/06, http://www.cidh.org/annualrep/2006eng/CUBA.12476eng.htm, Oscar Elías Biscet et al., October 21, 2006; IACHR, Merits Report No. 68/06, http://www.cidh.org/annualrep/2006eng/CUBA.12477eng.htm, Lorenzo Enrique Copello Castillo et al., October 21, 2006. At: www.iachr.org

263 When it is notified of an IACHR decision, the Cuban State either does not respond or sends a note to the effect that the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights does not have competence -and the Organization of American States does not have the moral authority- to examine issues related to Cuba.

264 The complete text of Resolution VI can be found in the “Eighth Meeting of Consultation of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs to serve as Organ of Consultation in Application of the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance, Punta del Este, Uruguay, January 22 to 31,1962, Meeting Documents,” Organization of American States, OEA/Ser.F/II.8, doc. 68, pages 17-19

265 IACHR, Annual Report 2002, Chapter IV, Cuba, paragraphs 3-7. See also IACHR, Annual Report 2001, Chapter IV, Cuba, paragraphs 3-7. IACHR, Seventh Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Cuba, 1983, paragraphs 16-46.

266 IACHR, IACHR welcomes Announcement to Restablish Relations between the United States and Cuba, December 19, 2014. Available at: http://www.oas.org/en/iachr/media_center/PReleases/2014/156.asp.

267 Articles 479 and 480 of the Criminal Procedure Law establish the especially expedited summary proceeding:

Article 479: In a case of exceptional circumstances, the Attorney General may propose to the President of the People’s Supreme Court and the latter shall decide whether to use the especially expedited summary proceeding to prosecute those crimes that any court has jurisdiction to hear, except for those crimes that are the jurisdiction of the People’s Municipal Courts.

Article 480. In especially expedited summary proceedings, the procedures that this law establishes for preliminary proceedings, oral trial and appeals may be reduced to the extent that the court with jurisdiction deems necessary. Title X, Especially Expedited Summary Proceeding. Articles 479 and 480. [Translation ours].

268 IACHR, Annual Report 2008, Chapter IV, Cuba, para. 177.

269 UN, (2013) Universal Periodic Review, National report submitted in accordance with Human Rights Council resolution 16/21, annex, paragraph 5, Cuba. Available at: http://www.upr-info.org/IMG/pdf/a_hrc_wg.6_16_cub_1_cuba_e.pdf [Consulted November 6, 2013].

270 Diario La Nación, Cuba: el presidente Raúl Castro justificó la pena de muerte, lunes 28 de enero de 2013. Disponible en: http://www.lanacion.com.ar/1549737-cuba-el-presidente-raul-castro-justifico-la-pena-de-muerte; Diario El Mundo: Raúl Castro justicia la pena de muerte en Cuba, 28 de enero de 2013. Disponible en: http://www.elmundo.es/america/2013/01/28/noticias/1359394662.html

271 Article 98: 1. Anyone who takes up arms to achieve any of the following ends shall be sentenced to prison for a period of ten to twenty years or to the death penalty: a) to prevent the higher organs of the State and of Government from discharging their functions, either entirely or partially and even if temporarily; b) to change the economic, political and social order of the socialist State; c) to change, in whole or in part, the Constitution or the form of government it establishes.

2. Any person who commits an act intended to encourage others to take up arms shall face the same punishment if he or she accomplishes his or her ends; if not, the penalty shall be imprisonment for four to ten years.



272 Article 120: 1. The penalty shall be imprisonment for ten to twenty years or death for anyone who, in order to establish or maintain one racial group’s domination over another and acting in accordance with policies for racial extermination, segregation or discrimination: a) denies members of that group the right to life and the right to liberty through murder, egregious attacks on their physical or mental security or dignity; torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; arbitrary detention and unlawful imprisonment; b) imposes on that group legislative or other measures intended to prevent it from participating in the country’s political, social, economic, or cultural life and deliberately creates conditions that thwart the group’s full development by denying its members their fundamental rights and freedoms; c) divides the population along racial lines by creating reservations and ghettos, prohibiting marriage between members of different racial groups and expropriating their property; d) exploits the labor of the group’s members, especially by subjecting them to forced labor.

1. 2. If a person in any way persecutes or harasses organizations and persons who are opposed to apartheid or who struggle against it, he or she shall face imprisonment for ten to twenty years.



2. 3. Responsibility for the acts provided for in the preceding paragraphs shall be irrespective of the country in which the culpable parties act or reside and applies, irrespective of motive, to private citizens, members of organizations and institutions and representatives of the State. [Translation ours]

273 Cuban Criminal Code, Article 190.

274 Cuban Criminal Code, Article 263.

275 Cuban Criminal Code, Article 298.

276 Cuban Criminal Code, Article 299.

277 Cuban Criminal Code, Article 310.

278 Cuban Criminal Code, Article 327.

279 As the Inter-American Court has observed, “[a]mbiguity in describing crimes creates doubts and the opportunity for abuse of power, particularly when it comes to ascertaining the criminal responsibility of individuals and punishing their criminal behavior with penalties that exact their toll on the things that are most precious, such as life and liberty.” See, for example, I/A Court H.R., Case of Castillo Petruzzi et al. Judgment of May 30, 1999. Series C No. 52, para. 121.

280 IACHR, Merits Report No. 68/06, Case 12.477, Lorenzo Enrique Copello Castillo et al., October 21, 2006, para. 96.

281 IACHR, Merits Report No. 68/06, Case 12.477, Lorenzo Enrique Copello Castillo et al., October 21, 2006, para. 96.

282 Cf. Restrictions to the Death Penalty (Arts 4(2) and 4(4) American Convention on Human Rights). Advisory Opinion OC-3/83 of September 8, 1983. Series A. No. 3.

283 Cf. Case of Hilaire, Constantine and Benjamin et al. v. Trinidad and Tobago. Merits, Reparations and Costs. Judgment of June 21, 2002. Series C No. 94, para, 106, and Case of Raxcacó Reyes, Merits, Reparations and Costs. Judgment of September 15, 2005. Series C No. 133, para. 68. See also Restrictions to the death penalty (Arts. 4(2) and 4(4) American Convention on Human Rights), Advisory Opinion OC-3/83 of September 8, 1983. Series A. No. 3.

284 Cf. Case of Hilaire, Constantine and Benjamin et al. v. Trinidad and Tobago. Merits, Reparations and Costs. Judgment of June 21, 2002. Series C No. 94, para 103, 106 and 108, and Case of Raxcacó Reyes, Merits, Reparations and Costs. Judgment of September 15, 2005. Series C No. 133, para. 81. See also Restrictions to the death penalty (Arts. 4(2) and 4(4) American Convention on Human Rights), Advisory Opinion OC-3/83 of September 8, 1983. Series A. No. 3., para. 55.

285 Cf. Case of Fermín Ramírez, Merits, Reparations and Costs. Judgment of June 20, 2005. Series C No. 126, para. 79. See also Restrictions to the death penalty (Arts. 4(2) and 4(4) American Convention on Human Rights Advisory Opinion OC-3/83 of September 8, 1983. Series A. No. 3., para. 55, and The Right to Information on Consular Assistance in the Framework of the Guarantees of Due Process of Law. Advisory Opinion OC-16/99 of October 1, 1999. Series A No. 16, para. 135.

286Believing that abolition of the death penalty contributes to enhancement of human dignity and progressive development of human rights,” Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty, adopted and proclaimed by General Assembly resolution 44/128 of 15 December 1989, available at: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/2ndOPCCPR.aspx. [Consulted November 6, 2013].

287 UN, (2013) Universal Periodic Review, National report submitted in accordance with Human Rights Council resolution 16/21, annex, paragraph 5* Cuba. Available at: http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G13/106/93/PDF/G1310693.pdf?OpenElement [Consulted November 6, 2013].

288 American Declaration, Article I.

289 American Declaration, Article XXV.

290 American Declaration, Article XXV.

291 American Declaration, Article XXVI.

292 IACHR, Annual Report of the Inter-American Commission, 1998, April 16, 1999.

293 IACHR, Annual Report of the Inter-American Commission, 1998, April 16, 1999.

294 IACHR, Annual Report of the Inter-American Commission, 1998, April 16, 1999.

295 IACHR, Annual Report of the Inter-American Commission, 1998, April 16, 1999.

296 IACHR, Annual Report 1990-1991, p. 557; IACHR, Second Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Peru, 2000, Chapter IV, Political Rights, A.1. See also I/A Court H.R. Case of Castañeda Gutman v. Mexico. Preliminary Objections, Merits, Reparations and Costs. Judgment of August 6, 2008. Series C No. 184.

297 Article 27 of the American Convention on Human Rights, Suspension of Guarantees, establishes at section 2: “The foregoing provision does not authorize any suspension of the following articles: …] and 23 (Right to Participate in Government), or of the judicial guarantees essential for the protection of such rights.” See also, I/A Court H.R. Case of Castañeda Gutman v. Mexico. Preliminary Objections, Merits, Reparations and Costs. Judgment of August 6, 2008. Series C No. 184 and I/A Court H.R. The Word “Laws” in Article 30 of the American Convention on Human Rights. Advisory Opinion OC-6/86 of May 9, 1986. Series A No. 6, para. 34; and Case of Yatama v. Nicaragua. Preliminary Objections, Merits, Reparations and Costs. Judgment of June 23, 2005. Series C No. 127, para. 191.

298 National report presented by the State of Cuba; UN, Human Rights Council, Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, Fourth session, Geneva, February 2 to 13, 2009. A/HRC/WG.6/4/CUB/1; November 4, 2008, para. 8.

299 In Chapter 9, “Libro Blanco del 2007,” published at the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cuba.

300 Article 3 of the Inter-American Democratic Charter establishes as one of the essential elements of representative democracy the holding of periodic, free, and fair elections based on universal suffrage and secret ballot, as an expression of the sovereignty of the people; and the plural regime of political parties and organizations.

301 Notice of Report on the Merits No. 67/06 was given to the Cuban State and the petitioners’ representatives on November 1, 2006. See in IACHR, Press Release No. 40/06, “IACHR announces two reports on human rights violations in Cuba,” of November 1, 2006.

302 Article 91 of the Criminal Code of Cuba: “Whoever, in the interest of a foreign State, commits an act with the intent to cause damage to the independence of the Cuban State or the integrity of its territory, shall receive a sentence of between ten and twenty years or a death sentence.”

303 See complete report at: http://www.cidh.org

304 See complete report at: http://www.cidh.org

305 IACHR, Report on the Merits No. 67/06, Case 12,476, Oscar Elías Biscet et al., October 21, 2006.

306 IACHR, Report on the Merits No. 67/06, Case 12,476, Oscar Elías Biscet et al., October 21, 2006.

307 IACHR, Report on the Merits No. 67/06, Case 12,476, Oscar Elías Biscet et al., October 21, 2006.

308 For more reference, see section on freedom of expression and human rights defenders.

309 Amnesty International, Annual Report 2013

310 Information supplied during the 149th Session of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Hearing No. 27, Situation of Human Rights Defenders in Cuba, Hearing No. 28, Human Rights Situation of the “Ladies in White” in Cuba , October 29, 2013. Video available at: http://www.oas.org/es/cidh/multimedia/sesiones/149/2martes29a.asp

311 IACHR, Hearing on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders in Cuba. 149th Session of the IACHR. Washington, D.C., October 29, 2013.

312 IACHR, Hearing on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders in Cuba. 149th Session of the IACHR. Washington, D.C., October 29, 2013.

313 IACHR, Hearing on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders in Cuba. 149th Session of the IACHR. Washington, D.C., October 29, 2013.

314 Cubanet, “Joven cubano denuncia nueva violación de derechos humanos” [Young Cuban reports new violation of human rights], available at http://www.cubanet.org/mas-noticias/joven-cubano-denuncia-nueva-violacion-de-derechos-humanos.

315 On November 8, 2012, the IACHR granted precautionary measures (MC-354-12) to Sonia Garro in order to protect the life and well-being.

316 Press reléase on 14ymedio.com, “Liberada la Dama de Blanco Sonia Garro junto a otros dos actividas” December 9th, 2014. Available at: http://www.14ymedio.com/nacional/Sonia_Garro-Liberada-Noticias-Cuba_0_1685231472.html

317 Cubalex, Informe sobre la situación discriminación contra las mujeres en Cuba [Report on the Situation of Discrimination against Women in Cuba]. 2013 [in the Commission archive].

318 “El régimen suspende por cuarta vez el juicio contra Sonia Garro” [Regime postpones Sonia Garro trial for fourth time], Diario de Cuba, November 7, 2014, available at http://www.diariodecuba.com/derechos-humanos/1415373264_11169.htm.

319 Amnistía Internacional, “Cuba: Detenidos y atrapados en un limbo tras un nuevo aplazamiento del juicio”. Available at: http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/cuba-detainees-left-limbo-trial-postponed-yet-again-2014-11-07

320 Amnistía Internacional, “Cuba: Detenidos y atrapados en un limbo tras un nuevo aplazamiento del juicio”. Available at: http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/cuba-detainees-left-limbo-trial-postponed-yet-again-2014-11-07.

321 See, Amnesty International, Annual Report. Cuba 2013. Available at: http://www.amnestyusa.org/research/reports/annual-report-cuba-2013.

322 See, Human Rights Watch, World Report 2013. Available at: http://www.hrw.org/world-report/2013/country-chapters/112973?page=2 [Consulted November 6, 2013].

323 Report of the Cuban Committee for Human Rights and National Reconciliation, “Cuba: Algunos Actos de Represión Política en el mes de abril de 2014” [Cuba: some acts of political repression in April 2014], available at http://observacuba.org/wp-content/uploads/pdfs/2014/overview-abril2014.pdf.

324 Report of the Cuban Committee for Human Rights and National Reconciliation, “Cuba: Algunos Actos de Represión Política en el mes de abril de 2014” [Cuba: some acts of political repression in April 2014], available at http://observacuba.org/wp-content/uploads/pdfs/2014/overview-abril2014.pdf.

325 Report of the Cuban Committee for Human Rights and National Reconciliation, June 2, 2014, available at https://www.fidh.org/es/americas/cuba/15468-informe-de-la-comision-cubana-de-derechos-humanos-y-reconciliacion.

326 Report of the Cuban Committee for Human Rights and National Reconciliation, “Cuba: Algunos Actos de Represión Política en el mes de abril de 2014” [Cuba: some acts of political repression in April 2014], available at http://observacuba.org/wp-content/uploads/pdfs/2014/overview-abril2014.pdf.

327R Report of the Cuban Committee for Human Rights and National Reconciliation, June 2, 2014, available at https://www.fidh.org/es/americas/cuba/15468-informe-de-la-comision-cubana-de-derechos-humanos-y-reconciliacion.

328 Report of the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation. Some Acts of Political Repression in October 2013. Available [in Spanish] at: http://observacuba.org/wp-content/uploads/pdfs/2013/overview-octubre2013-ocdh.pdf [Consulted November 6, 2013].

329 Amnesty International reports a “campaign of repression” in Cuba for the CELAC Summit, available at http://www.amnistia.org.ar/noticias-y-documentos/archivo-de-noticias/cuba-16; “Cuba: hay disidentes apresados y desaparecidos a días de la Celac” [Cuba: dissidents arrested or disappeared days before CELAC], Infobae, January 25, 2013, available at http://www.infobae.com/2014/01/25/1539344-cuba-hay-disidentes-apresados-y-desaparecidos-dias-la-celac; “Denuncian opositores cubanos ‘represión política’ por Cumbre Celac,” [Cuban dissidents report “political repression” for CELAC Summit], Diario Rotativo Noticias de Querétaro, January 30, 2014, available at http://www.rotativo.com.mx/noticias/internacionales/230759-denuncian-opositores-cubanos-represion-politica-por-cumbre-celac/.

330 Amnesty International reports a “campaign of repression” in Cuba for the CELAC Summit, available at http://www.amnistia.org.ar/noticias-y-documentos/archivo-de-noticias/cuba-16; “Cuba: hay disidentes apresados y desaparecidos a días de la Celac” [Cuba: dissidents arrested or disappeared days before CELAC], [Infobae, September 25, 2014].
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