OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN CUBA
For over twenty years, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has
given special attention to the situation of human rights in Cuba. The Result of this has been preparation of the six reports
that precede this one.
Several special situations characterize relations between the IACHR and
the Government of Cuba; the changes that have taken place in that country since
January 1, 1959 have been numerous and far-reaching.
The Commission therefore considered it an opportune time to evaluate the
concrete results of the policies carried out by the Government of Cuba insofar
as they affect the situation of human rights in that country.
This Seventh Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Cuba is the
result of this decision taken by the Commission.
The Report contains specific treatment of the juridical questions arising
with respect to the bearing on the jurisdiction of the IACHR to evaluate the
actions of the Government of Cuba with respect to human rights.
With respect to this issue, the principal facts that cumulatively make up
the current situation are presented, and the arguments set forth pro and con
jurisdiction of the IACHR with respect to the Government of Cuba are stated and
examined. That is the subject of
This Report includes a treatment of civil and political rights, which, in
general, have been the primary focus of attention in the reports of the
Commission. Thus, the structure of
the Cuban State is examined on the basis of recently promulgated laws,
especially the Constitution of 1976. The
examination of civil and political rights is approached on two levels: on the
normative level, in order to establish the correspondence between current Cuban
legislation and the relevant international instruments, and on the practical
level, in order to specify the forms assumed by the concrete exercise of those
rights and the behavior of the Cuban Government with respect to them.
Political rights are examined in the corresponding chapter; the right to
a fair trial, to personal liberty and to due process of the law; the right to
physical integrity; the right to freedom of investigation, opinion, expression
and dissemination; the right to life; the right to religious freedom; and the
right to residence and movement.
The Commission has given special consideration to economic, social and
cultural rights in this report. In
so doing, it has followed the American Declaration and, where it was considered
necessary to specify the scope and content of some of
these rights, the Commission has relied on the pertinent provisions of
the Charter of the Organization of American States two instruments of the united
Nations: the universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International
Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
Following the methodological structure used in this Report, first the
provisions of the above-mentioned international instruments bearing on economic,
social and cultural rights are summarized, and next, an effort has been made to
establish whether Cuban legislation recognizes those rights. Following this, there is a study of the practice, i.e., of
the observance of these rights in Cuba.
The inter-American Commission on Human Rights has drawn attention to the
growing importance of economic, social and cultural rights, both in themselves
and in their relation to civil and political rights.
In this respect, it has pointed out that:
essence of the legal obligation incurred by any government in this area
(economic, social and cultural rights) is to strive to attain the economic and
social aspirations of its people, by following an order that assigns priority to
the basic needs of health, nutrition and education.
The priority of the “rights of survival” and “basic needs” is a
natural consequence of the right to personal security.
In a similar vein, the IACHR
has affirmed that:
examining the situation of human Rights in the various countries, the Commission
has had to establish the organic relationship between the violation of the
rights to physical safety on the one hand, and neglect of economic and social
rights and suppression of political participation, on the other¼
neglect of economic and social rights, especially when political participation
has been suppressed, produces the kind of social polarization that then leads to
acts of terrorism by and against the Government.
Likewise, the IACHR has emphasized that achievement of the observance of
economic, social and cultural rights “cannot in any case justify the
violations of the basic political and civil rights”
Similarly, it has stated that:
Organization of American States and, in particular, the Inter-American
Commission on Human Rights as the organ specifically charged with promoting and
defending human rights, is duty bound to take a more active role in protecting
economic, social and cultural rights, just as it is with respect to civil and
For the purposes of the analysis presented in this Report, the following
rights have been selected: the
right to property, to work, to social security, to adequate nutrition, to health
and sanitary living conditions, and to education.
The concrete attainment of these rights imposes on the state a duty to
assume an active position; in effect, the content of economic, social and
cultural rights is made up of a number of basic needs that must be satisfied
directly or through the creation of conditions that are effective in meeting
them. Thus the observance in practice of these rights implies the
formulation of appropriate policies, the execution of which entails the
allocation of resources—in some cases substantial—both in goods and in
services. The concrete results
obtained by such state action will make it possible to determine the degree to
which a state meets its obligation to observe the above-mentioned rights in
These concrete results can be evaluated with the aid of a number of
indicators, which can be quantified with relative precision.
In this Report, the fundamental criterion used to evaluate these results
has been the access of the population to the goods and services provided to meet
the basic need in question. This
criterion has been adopted bearing in mind the difficulties associated with
quantification of the quality of the goods and services in question;
nevertheless, the use of some indicators has made it possible, in certain cases,
to obtain a satisfactorily correct assessment of these qualitative aspects.
It should be pointed out that the Cuban revolution has consistently
identified human rights with basic needs, and even calls them “the true Human
Rights”. These rights are:
nutrition, health, education, social justice, and work, as well as the
prohibition and elimination of gambling, prostitution, begging, and
discrimination. Official Cuban
statements never make reference to civil and political rights.
Bearing in mind the scope of this Report, several sources have been
employed in its preparation. Individual
complaints formulated against the Government of Cuba have been taken into
account, as well as the pertinent elements of the testimony of numerous witness
who have testified before the Commission has been included, which was obtained
through the extensive efforts of the Executive Secretariat, by which contact was
made with the greatest possible number of institutions which might provide
information with respect to recent violations of human rights in Cuba.
The exodus from the Port of Mariel
and the release of numerous political prisoners by the Government of Cuba
allowed the Commission to receive abundant and significant testimony.
Clarification of certain technical matters required the contracting of
experts of high professional standing and recognized prestige, who were asked to
prepare document son subjects in their respective specialized areas.
These documents have been used as basic information sources in preparing
the various chapters of this report. The
abundant documentation available in archives and libraries was also used
In order, first, we shall refer to the jurisdiction of the IACHR to
investigate the situation of human rights in Cuba.
Presented below are the Commission’s arguments supporting its
jurisdiction to consider the situation of Human Rights in Cuba and, therefore,
to carry out the functions assigned to it in the instruments which govern it.
Preceding this is a presentation of the background that gave rise to the
jurisdiction issue and the reasons invoked to refute the Commission’s
authority with respect to Cuba are presented.
On January 31, 1962, the Eighth Meeting of Consultation of Ministers of
Foreign affairs of the OAS approved a number of resolutions bearing on Cuba.
In connection with this Report, the most important was Resolution VI
which excluded the Government of Cuba from the inter-American system because of
its identification with Marxism-Leninism, considered to be incompatible with the
Inter-American system because it disrupted the unity and solidarity of the
hemisphere by aligning itself with the communist bloc.
The resolution also provided that the Council of the OAS and the other
organs and organizations of the Inter-American system adopt without delay the
measures necessary to carry out the resolution.
The Council of the OAS, after considering Resolution VI, entrusted the
General Committee with the preparation of a study of the appropriate measures to
comply with the above-cited resolution. In
the General Committee indicated that the only appropriate measure for the
Council to adopt was to elect a member of the Cultural Action Committee to
replace the Cuban member then serving on it.
With respect to the remaining organs and organizations of the
inter-American system, the General Committee considered that each should take
its own steps to comply with Resolution VI.
In the course of its Fourth Session (April 2-27, 1962), the IACHR
deliberated the position it should take with respect to Resolution VI.
In so doing, it consulted a report prepared by a subcommittee made up of
three of its members. After considering the various elements involved, the IACHR
decided to continue to apply its regulations for individual communications
linked to the situation of human rights in the Republic of Cuba.
Without prejudice to the presentation made below, it should be pointed
out that a persuasive factor in the decision of the IACHR was that it was the
Government and not the State of Cuba that was excluded from the OAS; it also
considered its jurisdiction justified because of the subject matter with which
the Commission is obligated to concern itself.
In keeping with this decision, the IACHR sent a cablegram to the
Government of Cuba on April 4, 1962, recommending to it that the trials of the
captured prisoners from the Bay of pigs expedition be conducted in conformity
with the provisions of Article 26 of the American Declaration of the Rights and
duties of Man. On April 8, 1962,
the Minister of Foreign affairs of Cuba, Dr. Raul Roa, addressed an official
communication to the IACHR in reply to the above-mentioned cablegram, stating
that the Commission lacked all authority to formulate recommendations “in
matters of the internal jurisdiction of the State of Cuba”.
On April 9 of the same year, the Commission again addressed the
Government of Cuba to request information on Cuban legislation in the area of
human rights and which previously had been offered to the IACHR by that country.
On April 27, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cuba addressed the
chairman of the Commission, in a personal note, indicating his “puzzlement”
at the communication, since the Government of Cuba had been excluded from the
organization of American States by the Eighth Meeting of Consultation.
In accordance with the position adopted by the IACHR, it continued to
process individual complaints received against the Government of Cuba, which was
informed of them through corresponding communication sent to the Cuban Minister
of Foreign Affairs. On October 22,
1964, the Chairman of the IACHR addressed a further communication to the
Government of Cuba in which it summarized the most recent complaints it had
received, listed the notes sent which had not yet received a reply, and
requested the government to provide the information that had been requested.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Raul Roa, sent an official note to
the President of the Commission on November 4, 1964, “merely as a courtesy”,
which stated that the “Cuba was arbitrarily excluded from the organization of
and, therefore, the request for information is wholly inadmissible.
The organization of American States has no juridical, factual, or moral
jurisdiction, nor competence, over a state which it has illegally deprived of
In 1971, in a discussion of the Report of the IACHR at the First Session
of the General Assembly of the OAS, Chile, Bolivia and Mexico contested the
jurisdiction of the Commission to deal with the situation of human rights in
Cuba. The debate was revived in
1977 at the Seventh Session of the General Assembly held in Saint George’s,
Grenada, upon consideration of the Fifth Report of the IACHR on the situation of
human rights in Cuba. At that time,
the representatives of Mexico, Panama, Peru, Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad and
Tobago argued against the jurisdiction of the Commission. It should be noted that at that point the dispute had already
arisen in the Preparatory Committee of the General Assembly in connection with
the inclusion of the Fifth Report on the Agenda of the Assembly.
The Sixth Report of the IACHR on Cuba once again gave rise to a
discussion of its jurisdiction with respect to that country.
At the meetings of the Preparatory Committee of the General Assembly in
1980, Nicaragua, Mexico, Jamaica, Grenada and Ecuador argued the position that
the Commission did not have such jurisdiction.
In the debates of the Tenth Session of the General assembly, Panama and
Trinidad and Tobago also took this position.
The jurisdiction of the IACHR to examine the situation of human rights in
Cuba is challenged, on one hand, on the grounds that the exclusion of the
Government of that country from the Inter-American system has led to the loss of
its status as a member state of the OAS. On
the other hand, it is argued that as a consequence of that exclusion, that
government ceases to have both rights—especially the right to defend
itself—and obligations within the framework of the OAS, the implied
counterpart to this argument being a restriction of the powers and authority of
both the IACHR and other organs of the OAS with respect to that country.
Loss of Status as Member State
The argument that the Commission does not have jurisdiction over Cuba
because it is no longer a member state of the OAS, is based on the view that
there is no distinction between state and government by which the IACHR’S
jurisdiction is justified. It also
sustains that after more than twenty years since the exclusion of the Government
of Cuba by the Eighth Meeting of Consultation, the distinction between State and
Government, if ever it was valid, is no longer so.
According to this position, the expulsion of the Government of Cuba
caused the loss of its status as a member state, and the “merely procedural
circumstance” that that country had not denounced the Charter of the
Organization nor the other instruments derived from it, is considered
irrelevant. In this respect, it is
considered that because the Government of Cuba was expelled application of
Article 148 of the Charter which refers to denunciation does not apply to this
It is this loss of status as a member state that determines that the
Charter of the OAS, as an international treaty, has no legal effect in relation
to Cuba; Cuba, therefore has neither rights nor obligations with respect to the
OAS and is in the same situation as any other nonmember American state.
Thus the Charter cannot grant the IACHR any kind of competence with
respect to Cuba.
In this view, the international protection of human rights in Cuba should
be channeled through the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, an agency in
which all of the countries that form part of the OAS are represented and of
which, in addition, Cuba is a member state.
It follows that the procedure that should be employed by the IACHR is to
transmit the complaints received against the Government of Cuba to the United
Nations Commission. In that
Organization, Cuba could defend itself against the complaints that may be made,
while in the OAS it cannot exercise that right because it was excluded from the
Restriction of Rights and Powers
This argument does not raise the issue of the status of Cuba as a member
state, but considers that the exclusion of Cuba from the Inter-American system
led to a restriction of its rights and duties in relation to the OAS, and to the
powers and authority of the organs of the regional institution with respect to
the country. This position considers that Cuba does not have the
opportunity to exercise its fundamental right to defend itself as it cannot
respond to the charges brought against it in the Commission’s human rights
reports on Cuba. It is this
circumstance that restricts the powers and authority of the General Assembly to
consider those reports.
The Commission has argued that it has jurisdiction to consider the
situation of human rights in Cuba on the grounds that its competence is based on
the elements that classically justify jurisdiction:
the person, the place, the time and the matter.
The Commission has continued to exercise its jurisdiction and has
processed the complaints received against the Government of Cuba, according to
its regulations, and finds that Cuba is still in a position to exercise its
right of defense before the Commission, in connection with individual complaints
as well as the reports prepared by the commission on the situation of human
rights in that country.
Jurisdiction on the grounds of the Person, the Time,
Place and The Matter
The Commission has always considered that the person against whom actions
are taken for presumed violations of human rights is the State; it is from the
State that individuals are to be protected.
Furthermore, it is the state that has the status of party to the
international instruments aimed at protecting human rights, and it thus
authorizes the institutions created through those instruments—or in connection
with them—to carry out activities related to the protection of those rights.
The Commission has held the position that the Cuban State is a party to
the international instruments initially established to protect human rights in
the American hemisphere: The
American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of man and the Charter of the
Organization of American States. It
also approved Resolution VIII of the Fifth Meeting of Consultation of Ministers
of Foreign Affairs (Santiago, Chile, 1959), which founded the Inter-American
Commission on Human Rights, “charged with furthering respect for such
The exclusion of the Government of Cuba by the Eighth Meeting of
Consultation gives rise to two kinds of issues with respect to the jurisdiction
of the IACHR over that country: in
the first place, to determine whether that exclusion entails the loss of its
status as a member state of the Organization and thus places it outside the
jurisdiction of the IACHR; and secondly, to justify the fact that the IACHR has
continue to maintain relations with the Government of Cuba despite its exclusion
from the Organization. The second
point entails consideration of the forms and limits within which the Government
of Cuba can and should exercise its right to defense in the matter of human
Since the issue was first raised, the Commission has repeatedly stated
its position that Resolution VI of the Eighth Meeting of Consultation excluded
the Government of Cuba and not the Cuban State from participation in the
Inter-American system. This position is confirmed by the wording of that Resolution,
the course of the debates in which it was approved, and other actions of the
Organization with respect to this matter. The
validity of the distinction between Government and State has been challenged,
however, with the corollary that the exclusion of the Government also implies
exclusion of the Government also implies exclusion of the state of Cuba.
It is the sense of the Commission that government and state are two
concepts juridical and institutionally distinguishable, not only in terms of
juridical theory but also in terms of practice.
Thus, for example, the lengthy debate in the United Nations with respect
to the representation of China in that organization was based on the necessity
of determining which of the two Governments would represent the State of China,
while its status as member state in that Organization was never questioned.
In order that the stability of international commitments not be
undermined by periodic changes of government, it is widely accepted that the
difference between government and state is not only possible but also necessary.
It is also the view of the Commission that in the case of Cuba, the
exclusion of its Government could not entail the loss of its status as a member
state, since according to the system of the Charter of the OAS, a state can only
lose that status in one case: that
provided for in article 4, i.e., in the case
of the entry into the Organization of a new political entity resulting
from the unification of several of its member states.
Unlike the Charter of the United Nations which makes provision for the
expulsion of a member state that repeatedly violates the principles contained in
it (Article 6), the Charter of the OAS makes no such provision.
The Commission therefore considers that the status of member state
constitutes a right according to the provisions of the Charter, and as such, no state may be deprived of that status; the status
of member state may only be renounced by the Government that decides to take
such a step, but it cannot be lost by means of application of a sanction for
which there is no provision in the Charter.
37. It is the view of the Commission that the only means by which a state party to those international instruments can lose such status is by denunciation thereof, in particular, of the Charter of the Organization of American States. As Cuba has not exercised the right of denunciation with respect to the Charter, it continues to be a member state, and therefore, juridicaly responsible to the IACHR with respect to human rights. The competence of the IACHR on the grounds of the person—the Cuban State—is fully justified, as is its competence on the grounds of time, since the Cuban State is responsible to the Commission until it denounces the Charter, a juridical step it has not taken. This is also the case with respect to its competence on the grounds of space or place, since the function of the IACHR is to safeguard the protection of human rights in the American member countries of the OAS.
It cannot be claimed, therefore, that the passage of time can transform
the expulsion of a government into expulsion of a member state; in this case,
the Commission finds it paradoxical that most of the states that hold that the
exclusion of the Government of Cuba implies the loss of its status as a member
state, also hold that the exclusion itself was “illegal”; in so doing, they
deny the legality of an act but at the same time recognize it in all its
It is the position of the Commission that it does not have authority to
analyze the correctness of a decision adopted by an organ of the OAS (Eighth
meeting of Consultation); nor does it consider it necessary in order to justify
the fact that it has continued to maintain ties with the Government of Cuba.
In effect, according to the procedure for implementation of Resolution
VI, the IACHR proceeded to study that resolution, and taking into account all of
the elements involved, evaluated the effect of the resolution on its specific
functions. The matter was carefully
studied both by a subcommittee made up of three members of the IACHR and by the
Commission in full, at its Fourth Session (April, 1962).
The Commission decided at that time to continue to process the complaints
submitted against the Government of Cuba according to its regulations, a
decision which entailed maintaining
contact with it. The ground invoked
for so doing, despite the exclusion of that Government from the OAS, are the
same as that which is the basis for the IACHR to continue to concern itself with
the situation of human rights in that country:
that it is competent on the grounds of in rem jurisdiction.
Indeed, protection of human rights is the mission of the IACHR; it is a
duty assigned to it in the instruments that founded it and the Charter of the
Organization. To carry out this
mission, it is necessary to maintain direct contact with the legal
representative of the member state, in this case, the Government of Cuba.
This was the sense of the Commission at its Fourth Session, at which time
it concluded that its mission could not be affected by “the decisions of a
political nature” of other organs of the OAS.
In effect, contingencies of a political nature cannot affect the correct
functioning of the mechanisms established for the protection of human rights.
Moreover, all political systems and governments are in agreement in
affirming that human rights guide their actions; the universal nature of human rights is demonstrated by the
unanimous approval of the Universal Declaration of the United Nations.
In the judgment of the Commission, therefore, the mere fact of professing
a certain ideology cannot be grounds to inhibit the functioning of mechanisms
for the protection of human rights. This
position is compatible with the principle of ideological pluralism formalized in
the Declaration of the General Assembly of 1973 15/ and subsequently in
the “Declaration of La Paz” issued by that body in 1979, and in the
resolution on “The Caribbean as a peace Zone”, adopted on the same occasion.
The Commission therefore decided that the exclusion of the Government of
Cuba was not applicable to it; hence,
it continued to transmit the corresponding official communications to the
Government of Cuba and even requested the consent of the Government on two
occasions to carry out an on-site visit to Cuba.
The Commission also continue to prepare reports on the situation of human
rights in that country, which were transmitted to the Government of Cuba for it
to make its observations and subsequently be submitted to the member states of
Exercise of the Right to Defense
The Commission considers that two different procedures are clearly
established in the normative instruments which govern it:
one is directly linked to the protection of human rights, and is carried
out within the IACHR in conformity with the steps established in its Statute and
Regulation (complaints, communications to the government, evaluation of
evidence, in loco visits, etc.). The
other procedure is that which takes place in the General Assembly upon
consideration of the Annual Report of the IACHR.
The procedure followed by the IACHR makes provision for due participation
of the government to which violation of one of the human rights contained in the
American Declaration or in the Convention is imputed.
Both in the processing of complaints and in the preparation of its
Report, the IACHR makes known to the government the respective content thereof,
so that the government may present its observations to the denunciations and the
reports prepared in connection with Cuba, all the established steps have been
followed. Consequently, the
government of that country has been in a position to make whatever observations
it deems pertinent. The IACHR
regrets that government has not responded since 1964 to the communications sent
to it, and hopes that this report will be enriched by the observations that the
Government of Cuba may decide to make.
The other procedure is consideration of the Annual Report of the IACHR by
the General Assembly. When that
report includes a special Report on one of the member states, the
representatives of that country may effect the observations they deem pertinent.
The General Assembly, in its capacity as the supreme organ of the
Organization, any certainly consider the entire range of circumstances
surrounding a special report and adopt the decisions it deems advisable. The General Assembly, however, does not have the authority to
amend a special report approved by the IACHR, for which reason a country cannot
be considered to exercise its right to defense in the General Assembly.
In view of the above, it can be stated that the Government of Cuba has
been able to make known its observations and to counter such denunciations as it
believes are motivated by political propaganda.
Such action would have been in conformity and consistent with the
procedure established for the cases that are brought before the IACHR, which was
followed without modification despite the exclusion of the Government of Cuba
from the Organization.
on the Situation of Human Rights in Cuba (OEA/Ser.L/V/II.4, doc.30, May 1,
Report on the Situation of political Prisoners and their Families in
Cuba (OEA/Ser.L/V/VI.7. doc.4, May17, 1963).
Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Cuba 9OEA/Ser.L/V/II.17,
doc.4, rev.1, April 27, 1967).
d. Second Report on the situation of Political Prisoners and their Family Members in Cuba (OEA/Ser.L/V/II.23, doc.6, rev.1, May 7, 1970).
Fifth Report of the IACHR on the Situation of Human Rights in Cuba (OEA/Ser.6
CP/INF.872/76, June 1, 1976).
f. Sixth Report of the IACHR on the Situation of Political Prisoners in Cuba (OEA/Ser.L/V/II.48, doc.7, December 14, 1979).
 IACHR, Annual Report 1979-1980, p.152
 Ibid, p.151.
 IACHR, Ten Years of Activities, 1979-1981 p.323.
 IACHR, Annual Report, 1979-1980, p.152.
This is the case, for example, of mortality rates related to certain
diseases, with respect to the right to health.
The experts contracted were:
Jorge Dominguez, professor at Harvard University and president of the
Center for International Affairs of that university, who was responsible for
preparing the document “Political Rights and the Cuban political
System”; Carmelo Mesa-Lago,
Director of the Center for Latin American Studies and professor of Economics
at the university of Pittsburgh, who prepared the study on “Economic and
Labor Rights in Cuba”; Nelson Valdés, professor of sociology at the
university of New Mexico, who prepared the paper “Cuba:
Social Rights and Basic Needs”;
Francisco García-Amador, Professor
at the university of Miami and former legal consultant to the OAS, who
prepared the paper “La Competencia de la Commisión Interamericana de
Derechos Humanos y las Obligaciones Internacionales de Cuba en la Materia”;
Jaime Castillo, University Professor and Chairman of the Commission on Human
Rights of Chile, who was responsible for preparing the document “El
Sistema Normativo Cubano”; Edy Kaufman, Professor in the Political Science
Department of the University of California in Los Angeles and member
professor of the harry S. Truman Research institute of the Hebrew University
of Jerusalem, who prepared the paper “Derecho a la Libertad Fisica y a la
Serguridad Personal”; Margaret Crahan, “Henry R. Luce” professor of
religion, power and the political process, of
Occidental College of Los
Angeles, who prepared the study “Cuba:
Religious Freedom and Liberty of Worship”;
Carlos Ripoll, professor of Queens College, N.Y., who prepared the
paper “Derecho a la Libertad de Expresion e Informacion”; Leonel A. de
la Cuesta, professor at the Florida International university, who prepared
the study “El Derecho a la Justicia y al Debido Proceso legal en Cuba”;
and patricia Fagan, professor at the University of San Jose, California, and
member of the Refugee policy Group, who prepared the paper “Derecho de
Residencia y Transito en Cuba”.
The operative section of Resolution VI provides:
That adherence by any member of the Organization of American States
to Marxism-Leninism is incompatible with the Inter-American system and the
alignment of such a government with the communist bloc breaks the unity and
solidarity of the hemisphere.
2. That the present Government of Cuba, which has officially identified itself as a Marxist-Leninist Government, is incompatible with the principles and objectives of the Inter-American system.
That this incompatibility excludes the present Government of Cuba
from participation in the Inter-American system.
That the Council of the Organization of American States and the other
organs and organizations of the Inter-American system adopt without delay
the measures necessary to carry out this resolution.
complete text of Resolution VI appears in the “Eighth Meeting of
Consultation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs acting as Organ of Consultation
in Application of the Inter-American Reciprocal Assistance Treaty, Punta del
Este, Uruguay, January 22-31, 1962, document of the Meeting”,
Organization of American States,
OEA/Ser.F/II.8, doc.68, pp.17-19.
resolution was adopted by the affirmative vote of 14 countries, one opposed
(Cuba) and six abstentions (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador and
Mexico). See “Eighth Meeting
cit.; doc.72, p.32.
“Report of the General Committee on
compliance with Resolution VI of the Eighth Meeting of Consultation of
ministers of Foreign Affairs”, OEA/Ser.G/IV, c-I 567, rev.
It is pertinent to recall that, in
connection with the discussion on the jurisdiction of the IACHR with respect
to Cuba, the authority of the Preparatory Committee to exclude a special
report such as that prepared on Cuba from the agenda of the General Assembly
was questioned. The vote taken
on this point led to the inclusion of the Sixth Report on the Agenda and
indicated—according to statements of the Chairman of the committee—that
the Preparatory Committee does not have the authority to exclude a special
report from the Draft Agenda of the Assembly.
See: Minutes of the
Meeting of the Preparatory Committee of the General Assembly, doc.
OEA/Ser.P, AG/C8/Proceedings 141/80, pp.29-30.
The Commission will not analyze here the arguments set forth by the
Government of Cuba, according to which the investigated facts fell within
the “reserved domain” of the State of Cuba, since they have been raised
on other occasions by other American governments.
should be pointed out that the various arguments used in connection with
this issue are usually employed in a single presentation that does not
distinguish among them; nevertheless, the Commission considers it useful to
study them separately, in order to be able to distinguish more clearly the
different legal effects of each in practice.
arguments set forth on this matter have been taken chiefly from the
Assembly Minutes and documents, Seventh Regular Session, Saint George’s,
Grenada, June 14-22, 1977, Volume II (Second Part).
Doc. OEA/Ser.P/X-0.2, December 30, 1977, pp. 265-269.
- General assembly minutes and Documents, Tenth Regular Session, Washington, D.C., November 19-27, 1980, Volume II, (Second part). Doc. OEA/Ser.P/X-0.2, November 13, 1981, pp. 84-181.
Minutes of the Meeting of the Preparatory Committee of the General
Assembly held on June 25, 1980. Doc.
IACHR, “Ten Years of Activities,
The Commission has considered, in keeping
with this line of reasoning, that it is not within its competence to protect
the human rights violated by groups that are not part of the State, since it
is the State’s responsibility to prevent such violations from occurring by
using the legal recourses available to it.
Summary Minutes of the Third Meeting held
on April 4, 1962, doc. OEA/Ser.L/II.4, doc.9 (Spanish), April 4, 1962.
PRINCIPLES GOVERNING RELATIONS AMONG THE AMERICAN STATES (Declaration
adopted at the thirteenth plenary session held on April 15, 1973).
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY,
1. That in accordance with the principles of the Charter of the organization, and especially with those of mutual respect for sovereignty, the self-determination of peoples, and the juridical equality of states, every state has the right to adopt, with complete independence, its own system of government and economic and social organization.
That, under the Charter, plurality of ideologies is a presupposition
of regional solidarity, which is based on the concept of cooperation freely
accepted by sovereign states, to achieve common objectives of maintenance of
peace and understanding among them for the sake of their vigorous and
dynamic development in the economic and social fields and in those of
education, science, and culture.
That plurality of ideologies in relations among the member states
implies the duty of each state to respect the principles of nonintervention
and self-determination of peoples and the right to demand compliance with
those principles by the other states.
4. That this declaration is made without prejudice to the standards and obligations of the Charter of the Organization, the special treaties mentioned therein, and Resolution 78 of the second regular session of the General Assembly.
Declaration of La Paz, AG/RES. 429 (IX-0/79) and The Caribbean as a
Peace Zone, AG/RES. 456 (IX-0/79).