Chapter IV b. Countries



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CHAPTER IV

B. Countries




CUBA





  1. INTRODUCTION




  1. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (“the IACHR” or “the Commission”), exercising its competence with respect to the promotion and protection of human rights in the Americas, has closely monitored the events that took place in late 2014 and 2015 in Cuba that could be relevant for the full enjoyment of human rights. Accordingly, the Commission has noted major advances in this regard, but also pointed out certain scenarios of concern that continue to constitute an obstacle to the enjoyment of all human rights for all persons under the jurisdiction of the Cuban State.




  1. The persistent restrictions on political rights, the right to association, the right to freedom of expression and thought, the lack of independence of the judiciary, and the restrictions on freedom of movement continue to limit systematically the human rights of Cubans. In addition to the foregoing is the increase in severe repression and restrictions on human rights defenders, dissidents, and independent journalists. The IACHR also learned of situations of discrimination and violence with respect to LGTBI persons, in addition to contexts of exclusion that are detrimental to Afro descendants.




  1. This is why, when evaluating the human rights situation in Cuba, the IACHR decided to include the country in this Chapter, for considering that it falls under Article 59(6)(a)(1) of the IACHR’s Rules of Procedure, which came into force on August 1, 2013, and which refers to:




  1. a serious breach of the core requirements and institutions of representative democracy mentioned in the Inter-American Democratic Charter, which are essential means of achieving human rights, including:




    1. there is discriminatory access to or abusive exercise of power that undermines or denies the rule of law, such as systematic infringement of the independence of the judiciary or lack of subordination of State institutions to the legally constituted civilian authority;




  1. It also understood that said situation fits under Article 59(6)(c) of the same Rules of Procedure, which establishes:

c. The State has committed or is committing massive, serious and widespread violations of human rights guaranteed in the American Declaration, the American Convention, or the other applicable human rights instruments.




  1. In drawing up this report, the Commission has received information from international organizations, civil society, and the Government through the page of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cuba and other official media outlets. It has also drawn on the information obtained through the other mechanisms of protection of the IACHR, such as the system of petitions and cases and precautionary measures, among others. The Commission notes the limited information available on human rights in Cuba.




  1. Once it has received the information, the IACHR analyzes it in light of inter-American human rights standards, identifies good governmental practices, and issues recommendations. It also takes this opportunity to describe its activities in 2015 related to Cuba.




  1. The Commission is aware of the various changes continuously unfolding in the hemisphere, and the growing challenges States face when it comes to achieving the ideal level of enjoyment of human rights. The IACHR is at the disposal of all actors, especially the authorities of the Government of Cuba, for providing the technical support necessary, and aspires to a greater opening that strengthens the dialogue and makes possible the exchange of best practices in the hemisphere.




  1. On November 9, 2015 the Commission sent to the State of Cuba a copy of the preliminary draft of this report in accordance with Articles 59(7) and 59(10) of the Rules with a deadline of November 20, 2015 for comments. The State did not respond.






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