Annual report of the inter-american commission on human rights 2011 chapter IV cuba I. Introduction



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ANNUAL REPORT OF THE INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS 2011

CHAPTER IV
CUBA

I. INTRODUCTION


  1. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has been particularly attentive to the human rights situation in Cuba and, in exercise of its competence, has observed and evaluated the human rights situation there, which it has documented in special reports,264 in Chapter IV of the Annual Report,265 and through its case system.266 On a number of occasions it has asked the Cuban State to take precautionary measures with a view to protecting the life and personal security of its citizens.267




  1. On January 31, 1962, the Government of Cuba was excluded from participation in the inter-American system by means of Resolution VI, adopted at the Eighth Meeting of Consultation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, held in Punta del Este (Uruguay).268 On June 3, 2009, during its XXXIX session held in Honduras, the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) resolved that Resolution VI adopted at the Eighth Meeting of Consultation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, would cease to have effect, and that “the participation of the Republic of Cuba in the OAS will be the result of a process of dialogue initiated at the request of the Government of Cuba, and in accordance with the practices, purposes, and principles of the OAS.”




  1. The IACHR has held that even for the time of its exclusion, the Cuban State “is juridically answerable to the Inter-American Commission in matters that concern human rights” since “the Cuban State is party to the first international instruments established in the American hemisphere to protect human rights” and because Resolution VI of the Eighth Meeting of Consultation “excluded the present Government of Cuba, not the State, from participation in the inter-American system.”269




  1. Using the criteria that the IACHR developed in 1997 to identify States whose human rights practices merit special attention, the Commission has concluded that the human rights situation in Cuba falls under criteria one and five, in that the political rights recognized in the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man are not respected, and structural problems persist that seriously affect the enjoyment and exercise of the fundamental rights recognized in the American Declaration.




  1. The restrictions on political rights, on the right to freedom of association, freedom of expression, freedom of thought, the lack of elections, the lack of an independent judicial branch and restrictions on freedom of movement have, over the decades, become permanent fixtures in systematic violations of the human rights of the Cuban people. In 2011, the information available suggests that the general human rights situation has not changed. The same human rights violations mentioned above persist, as do severe repression of women, restrictions on human rights defenders, and laws and practices that violate the rights of children and adolescents.




  1. On November 22, 2011, the Commission sent this report to the State of Cuba and asked for its observations. The State did not respond.




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