I.          BACKGROUND


          The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has continued closely monitoring the way in which the human rights situation in Cuba has developed since January 1994.  Since the publication of the 1993 Annual Report there have been a number of events and occurrences requiring special attention.


          In this connection, the IACHR has drawn on various sources in preparing this report.  It has taken into account the complaints filed against the Cuban Government, and has also incorporated the pertinent portions of various affidavits submitted to the Commission, and lastly it has taken into consideration information provided by numerous nongovernmental human rights organizations.


          As a result, the information gathered by the IACHR during the period covered by this report leads it to believe that the human rights situation in Cuba is still extremely serious.  The fact is that the deterioration in living conditions, the repressive control exercised by the State through the security agencies against individuals and groups who differ with the regime and the extreme economic difficulties that the Cuban people are suffering caused--in the course of 1994--a mass exodus of persons who put out to sea on makeshift rafts in search of new horizons, despite the fact that they were taking their lives in their hands by so doing.


          Once again, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights expresses its deep concern about the lack of civil and political rights and the continuous deterioration of economic, social and cultural rights.




          One of the most serious violations of human rights and one that occurs in Cuba, is violation of the right to freedom of expression.  Article IV of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man states that:


          Every person has the right to freedom of investigation, of opinion, and of the expression and dissemination of ideas, by any medium whatsoever.


          The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has referred to the exercise of these freedoms on numerous occasions, and, as part of its legal doctrine,  views their absence as a cause that "contributes to failure to respect the other human rights".[1]  The Commission has also condemned the use of various methods of intimidating the information media, together with different measures that could bring the press into a situation of dependence on the Government for inputs or basic operating requirements.


          The IACHR has also considers the communication media to be legitimate "vehicles for political thought" and has always stressed the need to avoid any type of legal text that creates "crimes of opinion",[2] rejecting any system that implies a monopoly of management of the mass media.


          The legal context of the right to freedom of expression in Cuba is defined by Article 53 of the country's Political Constitution, which provides:


          Citizens are allowed freedom of speech and press in accordance with the purposes of the communist society.  The material conditions for exercise of this freedom are provided by the fact that the press, radio, television, cinema and other mass communication media are state or social property and in no case may be privately owned, which thereby ensures that they will be used in the exclusive service of the working people and in the interest of society.  The Law regulates the exercise of these freedoms.


          As will be noted, the Cuban Constitution subordinates the exercise of freedom of expression to "the purposes of the communist society".  This means that it is not the State whose action is limited vis-à-vis the rights of persons, but on the contrary, persons' rights are limited vis-à-vis the purposes pursued by the State.


          This article of the Constitution has already been analyzed by the IACHR in its Seventh Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Cuba.  On that occasion it observed that the article in question "also seeks to guarantee exercise of the right to freedom of expression by stating that the material conditions for its exercise derive from state ownership of the communication media, which in no case may be privately owned, a circumstance that ensures that they will be used exclusively in the service of the working people and in the interest of society (...).  The Constitution resorts here, once again, to a doctrinaire profession of faith:  the State is the working people and the working people is the State; state ownership of the communications media provides the basis for the existence of freedom of expression and their correct use in the service of that same working people".[3]


          It is evident that the exercise of the right to freedom of expression under this article of  the Constitution is governed by two fundamental determinants: on the one hand, the preservation and strengthening of the communist State; on the other, the need to muzzle any criticism of the group in power.


          In this stage of the analysis, it must be underscored that this article of the Constitution is inextricably intertwined with certain provisions of the Cuban Criminal Code which define any exercise of the right to freedom of expression that is not in line with the purposes of the communist State as an offense.  Article 103 of the Criminal Code in fact provides:


          1.          Any person who:


                   a)       incites against the social order, international solidarity or the communist State, by means of oral or written propaganda or in any other way;


                   b)       prepares, distributes or possesses propaganda of the type referred to in paragraph (a) preceding;


          shall be punished with one to eight years imprisonment.


          2.       Any person who disseminates false news or malicious predictions likely to cause alarm or discontent among the population, or public disorder, shall be punished with one to four years imprisonment.


          3.       If mass communication media are used for performance of the acts referred to in (1) and (2) of this article, the penalty shall be seven to fifteen years imprisonment.


          4.       Any person who permits utilization of the mass communication media as referred to in (3) preceding shall be punished with one to four years imprisonment.


          This legislation has enabled the Cuban Government to consolidate a policy of systematic harassment against any form of dissent.  During the period covered by this report, the IACHR has in fact received extensive information on various methods of harassment directed against individuals or groups devoted to defense of human rights or engaging in political activity.  This harassment generally takes the form of accusations, disciplinary measures or imprisonment.  The legal grounds most commonly invoked are contempt, unlawful association, enemy propaganda, unauthorized production of printed materials, rebellion, etc.  The IACHR has also received information on the practice of a new form of harassment against persons who express, either orally or in writing, their dissatisfaction with the current political system:  economic offenses.  This method derives from the country's serious economic situation, as a result of which people are often obliged to purchase essentials on the black market.  One example of this practice is the case of the President of the Cuban Human Rights and National Reconciliation Commission, Elizardo Sánchez Santacruz, who was sentenced to six months house arrest in July 1994 for allegedly having in his possession a larger amount of fuel than was legally permitted.


          The IACHR has received information to the effect that 918 persons have been convicted of offenses with political connotations or for having exercised their right to freedom of expression.  This list does not include names of persons sentenced for the crime of "dangerousness" or for attempting to leave the country illegally.


          Regarding freedom of the press, the IACHR has been informed that this is totally limited to the sole and exclusive service of the Communist Party.  As is apparent from Article 53 of the Constitution, the press is limited by ideological considerations and the absolute control exercised by the State.  Evidence of this is provided by the variety of newspapers subordinated to the Government Party.  These include "Juventud Rebelde" (organ of the Union of Young Communists), "Trabajadores" (organ of the Confederation of Cuban Workers) and "Granma" (organ of the Union of Young Communists).  According to the complaints received, these papers present a distorted view of reality and reflect solely the Government's viewpoints.  It has further been noted that this situation not only means that the citizens suffer from a lack of information, but also generates apathy in the communication media and, finally, forces the population to resort to finding out about what is happening in its own country from foreign sources.  The Commission has in fact been informed that approximately 70% of the Cuban population listens to the Miami-based "Radio Martí".


          During the period covered by this report, the IACHR received numerous complaints about persons who had been arraigned or harassed in some way for having exercised their right to freedom of expression.


          The Frente Cívico Democrático spoke out in a press release against "the wave of arrests, violence and intimidation unleashed by the regime against human rights activists, peaceful opponents and their families".  The release also adds that "this repressive policy is designed to break up and crush opposition and dissent", and further notes that Angel Verdecia González, a resident of the "Bartolomé Maso" municipality in Granma province was sentenced to seven years imprisonment on a charge of "Enemy Propaganda" because when the police searched his home in December 1993 they found the address of Radio Martí.  The Frente Cívico Democrático press release then ended by observing that "these practices that violate human rights do no more than create a climate of national instability". (...)  "We are Cubans who reject hate and violence.  We want our country to take the pathway of peace, love, national well-being and reconciliation".


          The Cuban Human Rights Committee reported to the Commission that in September 1994, Bárbara Celia Diéguez González, aged 26, was subjected to harassment by Interior Ministry agents on account of her work in defense of human rights.  She was detained on two occasions and held in isolation for two days.  In another complaint the Committee also reported that Arturo Hérnandez López, aged 54 and resident at 94, Felíx Rojas Street in the municipality of Cacocún, Holguin, is constantly harassed by a State Security agent known as "The Indian".   Arturo Hérnandez is a former political prisoner who was sentenced in the past to five years imprisonment for alleged crimes against the security of the State.


          The IACHR has received information to the effect that Professor Francisco Chaviano González, leader of the Cuban National Civil Rights Council, was arrested in May 1994 by State Security agents who took him to the Villa Maristas Detention Center where he has been held incommunicado and without access to legal defense to this date.  Chaviano González was a natural sciences teacher in a secondary school up till the time he was jailed at the end of the last decade for attempting to escape from Cuba.  In mid-1994 he was one of he organizers of a campaign currently underway in favor of an amnesty for Cuban political prisoners.  In recent years Chaviano González has also acted as co-president of the Coordinating Group for Human Rights Organizations in Cuba ("CODEHU") and as investigator of the whereabouts of hundreds of persons who disappeared at sea when seeking to leave Cuba for the United States.  The IACHR has also been informed that the homes of another four Civil Rights Council activists and staffers Jorge Lorenzo Pimienta, Mario Rodríguez, Abilio Ramón Moya and Terina Fernández González, were searched by the State Security Service.


          According to information received, Antonio Moralez Zoa, Heriberto Acevedo Vásquez and Nidia Ramirez Alvarez, human rights activists from Isla de Pinos, were jailed for three years--at the beginning of 1994--for an alleged "Enemy Propaganda" offense.   It was also reported that Rodolfo González, a member of the Cuban Human Rights Committee, was arrested on  December 10, 1992 on a charge of having provided information considered anti-Government to foreign communication media.  González was sentenced in March 1994 to seven years imprisonment for "Enemy Propaganda" and is currently held in the Guanajai prison in La Habana province.  The Commission has further been informed that the Cuban authorities have reportedly offered González his freedom if he will leave the country, an offer that he has rejected.  It was also reported that during the three years that González was held in Villa Maristas--before being transferred to prison--he was kept in a windowless cell where he had to sleep on a metal plate under a fluorescent light left on 24 hours a day.


          In June 1994, the President of the Civic Democratic Party, Aida Rosa Jiménez was sick at the time, she was imprisoned in a cell in the Villa Maristas Detention Center.  According to the information received, the same agents who arrested her entered and searched her home, taking a typewriter and some documents.  The offense that Rosa Jiménez reportedly committed was to have arranged a mass in memory of those who died when the tug "13 de Marzo" was sunk by Cuban coastguards of June 13, 1994.  Aida Rosa Jiménez is still being held incommunicado by the Department of State Security.


          During the period covered by this Annual Report the IACHR continued receiving reports on various forms of harassment employed against human rights activists, or against persons who simply expressed their concern about these rights either orally or in writing.  The fact is that the "Brigadas de Acción Rápida"  ("Swift Action Brigades")[4] are still carrying out systematic harassment by means of what are termed acts of repudiation, which consist in organizing mobs to gather outside human rights activists' homes to yell all sorts of taunts and shout slogans in favor of the revolution and the Government.   Moreover, people are still being arrested and held temporarily, and losing their jobs, and all sorts of reprisals are being directed against persons who speak out against the regime.  A particularly serious occurrence brought to the Commission's attention was the mass protest that took place in Havana on August 5, 1994 and which was violently repressed by the Cuban Government, at which time some 300 persons were detained.


          The IACHR has been informed that the first trials of persons arrested during the August 5 disturbances were held in early September 1994.  Apparently in one single case eleven persons were tried, the majority of them being young people between 18 and 25 years of age, all charged with "public disorder".  Four of them were sentenced to one year's imprisonment, two to eight months and two to six months, while three were acquitted.  According to the judgement, their participation in the disturbances, during which a group of persons began to shout anti-revolutionary slogans, was proven.  The court also based its decision on the fact that the accused were arrested on the spot without proving they were there for any lawful purpose, and that they were young persons of deviant social behavior.


          The IACHR further received with concern numerous complaints about persons con­nected with human rights organizations who were reportedly arrested in the days following the protest despite the fact that they had not participated in it.  Those named were Alberto Rodríguez García, René Gómez Manzano and Jesús Faisel Iglesias of the Cuban National Civil Rights Council; René del Pozo Pozo and Gerardo Valdés, of the Coordinating Group for Human Rights Organizations in Cuba; Gustavo Cano Escobar, president of Concertación Democrática Cubana; Nelson Torres Pulido, president of the Cuban Human Rights Party; María Valdés Rosado and Jesús Rafael Castillo, President and Vice President, respectively of the Movimiento Cubano Demócrata Cristiano; Aida Rosa Jiménez, President of the Partido Cívico Democrático, who was also held for two days in July; and Fernando Velázquez Medina who was recently released, together with his wife Xiomara González, after having spent two years in prison for his links with the Criterio Alternativo group.


          The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights finds these forms of harassment and persecution on ideological grounds reprehensible, since not only do they impair the right to freedom of expression but they also openly violate the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man.  The Commission also considers that the right to freedom of expression must not only be free of prior restrictions but be free from fear of subsequent arbitrary penalties, because fear of arbitrary response and unjust penalties creates conditions equivalent to prior censorship.




          The right to work is a fundamental right that is universally recognized, and is set forth in the American Declaration as follows:


          ARTICLE XIV.  Every person has the right to work, under proper conditions, and to follow his vocation freely, insofar as existing conditions of employment permit.


          Every person who works has the right to receive such remuneration as will, in proportion to his capacity and skill, assure him a standard of living suitable for himself and for his family.


          The American Declaration clearly specifies how the right to work is to be exercised:  this must be done under "proper conditions", in accordance with the vocation of the person concerned and with appropriate remuneration.


          It is pertinent to note that the right to work and to the conditions under which it must be exercised is directly connected with the right of association "to promote, exercise and protect (...) legitimate interests of a labor union nature". (American Declaration, Article XXII).


          The right to work and its practice are recognized in Article 45 of the Cuban Constitution, which provides:


                   Work in the communist society is a right, a duty and a cause of honor for all citizens.


                   Work is remunerated in accordance with its quality and quantity; in assigning it, due attention is paid to the requirements of the economy and of society, the worker's choice and his skills and qualifications; it is guaranteed by the communist economic system, which fosters economic and social development, without crises, and which with it has eliminated unemployment and banished for good the seasonal lack of employment referred to as "dead time".


                   Voluntary, unpaid, work performed for the benefit of all society, in indust­rial, agricultural, technical, artistic and service activities, is recognized as an instrument for shaping the communist awareness of our people.


                   Each worker has the duty to fully carry out the tasks assigned to him in his employment.


          However, to make an appropriate analysis of the practice of the Cuban labor system, the following article of the Constitution must be cited:


          ARTICLE 62. None of the freedoms granted to citizens may be exercised against the provisions of the Constitution and of the laws, nor against the existence and purposes of the communist State, nor against the decision of the Cuban people to build socialism and communism.  Violation of this principle is punishable.


          It is clear, and the IACHR considers it to be so, that the Cuban Constitution on the one hand recognizes the right to work, but on the other hand, subordinates, limits and restricts this right to the "existence and purposes of the communist State", thereby enabling the creation of conditions conducive to various forms of discrimination in the provision of employment for ideological or other related reasons.  The Commission also considers that discrimination in employment is a much greater possibility where the State is virtually the sole employer.  These features of Cuban constitutional law, when directed against individuals, can result in discrimination on ideological grounds, which is incompatible with the proclaimed universality of the right to work.


          The foregoing is borne out in practice, because throughout 1994 the IACHR continued receiving information about the excessive control the Cuban State exercised over its citizens, control which, for ideological reasons, is exercised in the daily life of each person and is manifested specially in the work centers.  What happens is that "reliability" in the labor field is a determining factor in defining the "suitability" of each worker; this reliability includes the political aspects and the worker's attitude to the defense or requirements of the Government or the Party.  The Commission was also informed that workers--before or after being hired--are normally subject to checks by the Committees for Defense of the Revolution, the Technical Investigation Depart­ment or even the Party, in order to ascertain whether they fall into the "reliable" category. If it is determined that a worker is not reliable he will be let go, regardless of years of experience, service or other qualities. What is serious about this is that assessments to the effect that individuals are "not reliable" are not appealable.


          One of the most revealing cases in this respect is that of Antonio Domínguez Dizat, a researcher at the Instituto Superior Agrícola in Ciego de Avila, who was dismissed from his work center on August 3, 1993, for "political unreliability" for having expressed opinions in favor of political changes and for having maintained friendship with two other university professors who had also lost their positions for the same reasons in 1992.


          The IAHCR has also been informed that Marta Vidaurreta Lima, a professor at the Instituto Superior de Diseño Industrial in Havana, was dismissed from her position in February 1994, on the grounds of Decree Law 34/80, after having delivered a letter to the president of the institute setting out her views on the country's situation and its impact on higher education, in particular the use of ideological criteria for determining the conditions for admission to the center, the expulsions of teaching staff and also the constant ideological pressure.


          It should be noted that Decree Law No. 34, which is still in effect, was issued on March 12, 1980, and states that "persons who are involved with children and young people in the education process constitute an example for the shaping of their communist personality"; it further authorizes the dismissal of faculty members of higher education institutions and education centers, and of personnel of any education center who are directly involved with the students, for various reasons including "acts of a serious nature clearly contrary to communist morality and the ideological principles of our society".  The provisions of this decree law negatively impact the technicians, teachers, administrative personnel and technical personnel employed in higher education.


          The IACHR has to express its concern about this matter, since it is clear that labor law in Cuba is violated both de facto and de jure, since discrimination for political reasons in the work centers starts with the substantive law and is then manifested in practice in dismissals and other forms of harassment by the Cuban Government against anyone opposed to the regime.


          The Commission has information to the effect that the family members of political prisoners suffer discrimination in their places of work, as do the prisoners themselves once they are released.  In the same way, complaints have been received to the effect that this treatment is also meted out to families of emigrés when these emigrés have assumed attitudes antagonistic to the Cuban political system once they have settled abroad. This is the case of Rafael Ravelo Canosa, whose home was searched by State Security agents at about six in the morning on September 14, 1994.  After the search, Ravelo Canosa was taken to the State Security Department, where he was questioned about a report he had allegedly received from a human rights activist concerning an accusation of corruption against a Cuban official in the department in the city of Ariza.  Ravelo Canosa, who denied knowing anything about the report, was threatened with four years imprisonment for the crime of "dangerousness", and with expulsion of his son from his job.  The complaint received affirms that Ravelo Canosa is being harassed on account of, among other reasons, his relation­ship to the President of the National Cuban American Foundation, Jorge Mas Canosa.


          Regarding labor union freedoms, Article 54 of the Cuban Constitution establishes the right of assembly and association for workers and declares that social organ­izations "enjoy the fullest freedom of speech and opinion, based on the unrestricted right to initiative and to express criticism".  These rights, like all the freedoms by the Constitution, are limited by its Article 62 which, as already noted, specifies that these rights may not be exercised "against the existence and purposes of the communist State, nor against the Cuban people's decision to build socialism and communism".


          In practice, the limitation imposed by the Constitution is carried into effect by the existence of the monopoly exercised by the Confederación de Trabajadores de Cuba (CTC), a single union of the vertical type which prohibits the formation of other workers' groups.  The bylaws of the CTC state that "the union movement was directed and guided by the Communist Party, which was required to contribute to the mobilization of the masses in performance of the tasks assigned by the Revolution and to strengthen the marxist-leninist ideology".[5]  Its chief objectives also include "supporting the revolutionary government, participating in national vigilance and in defense activities, cooperating to improve management efficiency, strengthening of labor discipline and prevention of any violation of same, and also raising the political awareness of its members".[6]


          Notwithstanding the fact that the Cuban Constitution grants labor unions extensive freedoms, the concentration of state power has not been possible without restriction of union freedoms. The right of association, moreover, cannot be exercised against the existence and purposes of the communist State; the labor unions are not therefore truly autonomous since they are subordinated to the interests of the State and guided by the Party. In addition, the unions' main objectives are connected with production and productivity, but not with defense of the workers' interests.  These limits on union activity have been underscored by the recent reports on harassment of workers who have attempted independent union actions with a view to protection of their labor interests.


          This is the case of Lazaro Corp Yeras, Secretary General of the Union of Cuban Workers and President of the National Commission of Independent Labor Unions, who was beaten up by three State Security agents in a street in the municipality of Playa in Havana on August 2, 1994.  His 17-year-old son was also beaten up on the same occasion.


          The IACHR has been informed that Juan Guarino Martínez Guillén, President of the Confederation of Democratic Workers of Cuba, was arrested at the beginning of May, 1993, on a charge of instigation of unlawful activity because--according to the police--he was the organizer of a peaceful demonstration on May 1.  He was sentenced to one year's house arrest, with the condition that if he persisted in his union activities the sentence would be doubled and he would have to serve it in prison.  On September 17 of the same year he was again arrested and taken to the Taco-Taco prison in Pinar del Rio, where he was reported to have been beaten up in January 1994, after which he was transferred to the Combined Eastern Prison (Prisión Combinado del Este).  Due to serious health problems he was finally released in May 1994.


          Complaints have also been received that Edith Lupe, a Confederation of Democratic Workers member in Arroyo Naranjo, Havana, was summoned to the State Security Department on May 24, 1994, where she was threatened with being tried and with being made the target of an act of repudiation if she continued with her union activities. In the course of 1994 it was learned that Héctor Domínguez, Jesús Benito Díaz, Fernando Mendoza, Martha Rosa Medina and Manuel Gallardo, all members of the Confederation in the municipality of San José de las Lajas, had also been threatened.




          Once again, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights draws attention to the concept of "dangerous state" in the Cuban Criminal Code and to the way in which the Government uses the offense thus defined as legal justification for application of security measures before a crime is actually committed, and after the event, for restrictions that include imprisonment in labor camps and penitentiary establishments for a period of up to four years.


          The Cuban Government in fact justifies detention of opponents of the regime under Article 72, which defines "dangerousness" as "a special inclination on the part of a person to commit crimes, as demonstrated by behavior that is clearly contrary to the standards of communist morality".  Article 74 expands on this provision by spelling out that "a dangerous state is present when an individual displays some of the following signs of dangerousness:  (a) habitual drunkenness and dipsomania; (b) drug addiction; (c) antisocial behavior". In the same way, "an individual who habitually breaks the rules of social coexistence by acts of violence, or by other provocative acts, violates the rights of others or by his general behavior breaks the rules of coexistence or disrupts the order of the community or lives, as a social parasite, off the work of others or exploits or practices socially reprehensible vices, is considered to be in a dangerous state on account of antisocial behavior".


          For its part, Article 75 states that "an individual who, without being in any of the dangerous states listed in Article 73, by his links or relationships with persons potentially dangerous to society, other persons and the social, economic and political order of the communist State, could become prone to crime, will be warned by the competent police authority with a view to preventing him from carrying out socially dangerous or criminal activities".


          If an individual displays one of the signs of dangerousness listed above certain security measures may be applied, which can be subsequent to or prior to the actual commission of an offense. In the case of prior security measures, Article 78 specifies that the individual declared in a dangerous state can be required to undergo therapeutic or reeducation measures or may be placed under surveillance by the National Revolutionary Police. According to Article 79, one therapeutic measure is admission into a care, psych­iatric or detoxification establishment. The reeducation measures are applied to antisocial individuals and consist of admission into a specialized labor or study establishment and assignment to a labor collective for monitoring and guidance of their behavior.  The minimum period of these measures is one year and the maximum four years.


          These provisions of the Cuban Criminal Code are taken further by Decree Nº 128, issued in 1991. This decree specifies that the declar­ation of dangerousness prior to commission of any offense shall be decided upon by summary procedure, detailed as follows. The National Revolutionary Police are to prepare the dossier with the report of the officer involved, the testimony of neighbors who attest the individual's behavior and copies of any official warnings given.  Once the dossier is made up, the Police are to submit it to the Municipal Attorney, who must decide whether to place it before the Municipal People's Court for determination of the degree of dangerousness of the individual concerned within two working days of receipt of it.  Within this time period the Court shall decide whether to institute any other proceedings, which must be done within five working days.  If the Court considers the dossier complete it will set the date for the hearing at which the parties are to appear. The Municipal Court is to pronounce judgment twenty-four hours after the hearing.


          During the period covered by this Annual Report complaints have been received concerning persons arrested by State agents under "dangerousness dossiers" who have subsequently been jailed for up to four years. It should be noted that the Criminal Code does not specify imprisonment as one of the possible security measures.  The IACHR has been informed that the type of procedure employed--summary--makes it impossible for the accused to present an adequate legal defense since the preset sequence to be followed is too tightly scheduled to give time for contacting a lawyer or for preparing a defense.


          It has been observed that the social protests sparked by the country's serious economic situation are generally repressed by this method and that the Government uses it not only as a means for preventing common crime but also to curb persons suspected of activities contrary to the official ideology.


          The case of Abel Jesús Acosta, a member of the Human Rights Party in Villa Clara, will serve as an example:  He was arrested on October 4, 1993, and after a trial held on the 6th of that month he was sentenced to two years imprisonment for being "dangerous", because he had met with "counter-revolutionary elements".  The Commission was informed that Mr. Acosta had met with a Canadian Journalist.


          In the same way, Héctor Eduardo Pedrera Miranda was arrested on September 16, 1993, as he left his home in Alta Habana and taken to the local National Revolutionary Police Office.  On the 23rd of that month he was given a summary trial and sentenced to four years imprisonment.  Apparently the prosecutor accused him of having a record of illegal departure from the country--an offense for which he had already paid the penalty--which meant that he was not in sympathy with the revolu­tion and was accordingly "dangerous". The Commission was informed that the defense attorney was not allowed to see the accused's dossier and was only permitted to talk to him a few minutes before the sentence was pronounced.  


          Other complaints received report that:


          Jorge Luis Dominguez Riera, an activist in the Cuban Human Rights Party, in the locality of Regla, was arrested on October 15, 1993 and taken to the Technical Investigations Department in Havana for having taken part in an anti-government demonstration.  On the 18th of that month he was sentenced to four years imprisonment as dangerous.


          Mercedes Parada Antunes, a member of the Political Rights Defense Association, was arrested on September 26, 1993, on a charge of dangerousness.  On October 8 of that year she was tried before the Marianao Municipal People's Court in Havana and sentenced to two years imprisonment.


          The above accounts confirm that there is no restraint in Cuba on the arbitrary exercise of government powers, since the right to due process seems to be one of those most frequently violated, both in substantive and in procedural terms. Thus, the "special inclination" to commit crimes referred to in the Cuban Criminal Code amounts to a subjective criterion used by the Government to justify violations of the right to individual freedom and due process of person whose sole crime has been an inclination to hold a view different from the official view.


          In sum, the definition of an offense that makes it possible for a person to be punished before or after having committed a crime, the subjectivity employed by the Criminal Code in describing these crimes together with the security measures, and the summary nature of the proceed­ings which inevitably entails a lack of guarantees and the political considerations governing them, constitute serious violations of the rights set forth in the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man.




          Regarding the right to residence and movement, the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man provides as follows:


          ARTICLE VIII.  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.


          Admittedly, in using the above wording the American Declaration does not expressly specify every person's right to return to his home country; however, the IACHR considers this right to be implicitly included in the Declaration. The Commission has accordingly maintained that "the right of every person to live in his own homeland, to leave it and to return to it when he so desires..." is a basic right that "is recognized by all international instruments for the protection of human rights".[7] The Universal Declaration of Human Rights specifies in its Article 13.2 that "Every person has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country".


          Cuban legislation does not recognize an individual's right to leave his country and to return to it, since to do so citizens have to have a permit that is granted by the administrative authorities on a discretionary basis.  Despite the fact that the Cuban authorities have simplified the procedures, there are still problems connected with the granting or denial of permits on political grounds.  What is serious about the matter is that when the Cuban authorities deny an exit permit, no appeal is allowed.


          This is the case with Raúl and Alejandro Roque Gonzáles, former Cuban Air Force pilots, who were imprisoned for political reasons and then denied permission to leave the country despite having entry visas for the United States, where a part of their family is now living.  A similar case is that of Nancy Almeida Fernández and her two sons Jorge De Jesús and Luis Fidel Blardoni, who hold U.S. entry visas to be reunited with her husband and their father, a former merchant marine captain who obtained asylum in the United States in 1992.


          The IACHR has also been informed that the former political prisoner Gregorio Sáez Alvarez and his family had their exit permits suspended after they had completed all the requirements, including surrendering their rationbooks and having his daughters abandon their studies.


          It should be noted that in recent years the reasons for leaving the country have not been purely political; Cuba's desperate economic plight has also become a motivation for hundreds of people to try to leave illegally with a view to settling, preferably, in the United States.


          The sources of information indicate that in 1993 a total of 3,656 people reached the United States on rafts, the rough estimate being that these were the one in three who set out and actually made it.  This number grew appreciably in the course of 1994, especially after the beginning of August when the Cuban coastguard and police allowed the mass departure from the island of all who were prepared to put to sea in hastily readied craft. The actual figure calculated to the IACHR in the course of 1994 was 30,000.


          It is important to note that these statistics include only those who were rescued from the waters or actually made it to the United States.  In this connection, during the period covered by this Annual Report--and prior to the mass exodus--numerous violent actions by the Cuban coastguard against persons attempting to leave without official authorization were recorded.  In the morning of July 13, 1994, four Cuban government boats equipped with waterhoses rammed an old tug that carried cubans fleeing the country,  There were 72 persons on board.  One of the government boats rammed the tug with the aim of sinking it, and then turned the pressure hoses on those who were on its deck.  The appeals of the women and children were in vain; the attack was not called off and the tug sank, leaving over 40 dead, 20 of whom were children.[8]


          On July 1, 1994, border guards mortally wounded three persons who were attempting to board a boat off Cojímar, to the east of Havana.  The three who died were Mario Horta, Alfredo E. Caballín Marlín and Loamis Gonzáles Mansini.


          In the morning of July 15, a group of Cuban coastguards opened fire on 11 persons who were attempting to flee the country in a fast motor boat.  Several people were injured, including Jorge Luis S. Marrero, who was hit in the left arm, and Ivette Molina, who was wounded in the face and the left shoulder.  There were also two minors in the boat, who were unhurt.


          On July 18, 1994, 14 miles off the Cuban coast, seven citizens who were attempting to flee on an improvised raft were rammed at full speed by Cuban coastguard boat No. 554, destroying the raft and causing injury to José Manuel Curiel, Pablo Valentín Reyes Carrasco and José Raúl Batista Díaz.  After being arrested, they were taken to the coast guard unit where they were held all day without medical care before being turned over to the State Security investigator Alexis Capdevilla.


          It has also been reported that Cuban coast guard patrols have on repeated occasions fired on persons seeking to enter the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo by sea, or by land, with the aim of requesting asylum.  This has generated severe criticisms since the use of such force is excessive and unnecessary if the objective is simply to turn these people back.  Similar incidents have also been reported at other points on the coast and involving persons who were trying to leave the country on crudely built rafts, as well as other cases when craft sent by U.S. citizens or persons resident in the United States approached the Cuban coast to pick up people from the country.


          As of the beginning of August 1994, the Cuban coastguard stopped attempting to prevent people from leaving the island.  This sparked a mass exodus of persons who put out in all sorts of barely seaworthy craft. The sheer numbers involved led the U.S. Government to adopt a set of measures aimed at preventing an inflow of people on such a scale.  One of the main steps taken was to intercept Cubans who set off for southern Florida and to transfer them immediately to the Guantanamo naval base.


          Following the introduction of these measures, in early September 1994 the Cuban Government concluded new immigration agreements with the United States under which the prohibitions in effect in Cuba before the crisis were reintroduced. This included full application of Article 216 of the Criminal Code which requires not only that persons who are caught after having set off be placed on trial, but also those who are suspected of planning to do so. This means that Cubans who try to leave illegally and are caught in the act are liable to one to three years imprisonment, while if they use violence in attempting to get away the penalty can be three to eight years in prison.


          The foregoing causes the IACHR to consider that exercise of the right to residence and movement set forth in the American Declaration is extremely restricted both de facto and de jure.  The restrictions clearly have political connotations, especially for persons who have adopted positions critical of the Government.  In this context, the IACHR urges the Cuban Government to take the necessary steps to allow unrestricted movement of persons.


          VI.          THE PRISON SITUATION


          The situation prevailing in Cuba's prisons is an indicator of the general situation of human rights in Cuba.  The nutrition and hygienic situ­ation, together with the deficiencies in medical care continue to be alarming and have caused numerous medical problems among the prison population.  Anemia, diarrhea, skin diseases and also parasitism due to polluted water, appear to be commonplace in the majority of the country's prisons, while in some such as the Manacas and Combinado del Este facilities cases of tuberculosis have been recorded.


          Moreover, inmates who have made any form of protest about the treatment received or who reject reeducation, which according to information received consists of political and ideological training, have been subjected to reprisals such as beatings, being shut up in punish­ment cells (which are extremely small, with the door closed and where the prisoner can be kept for months without seeing the light of the sun), being transferred to prisons normally far from where their families live, suspension of family visits, or denial of medical treatment.


          In this context, the IACHR has received numerous reports from different civic groups that paint a most distressing picture of life in Cuban prisons.  The Civic Democratic Party representative in the Manacas prison, in Villaclara province, refers to that prison as "a place where hunger, disease, lack of medical supplies and repression threaten to decimate this huge prison population".  According to his report, these conditions lead many prisoners to attempt to commit suicide, either by trying to hang themselves, by injecting gasoline into their bodies or even throwing themselves on the fence, which is the maximum security line, where they are shot down. The report also refers to the propagation of diseases such as tuberculosis and fatal parasitic ailments such as amebiasis.


          Also during the period covered by this report, in the "La Sociedad" prison in Santo Domingo municipality, the prisoner Lisandro Morejón, after having been held in solitary confinement for preaching the gospel, was the subject of constant harassment and mistreatment by the chief of that prison, Roberto Pérez Guillén (known as "El Papa"), despite having complained about this to higher authorities.


          Writing from the Quivicán prison, the political prisoner Reidel de la Torre Calero, complained about "the cruel, inhuman and degrading conditions" suffered in that prison's punishment cells. The political prisoners Omar del Pozo Marrero, Joel Alfonso Matos and Torre Calero himself were kept incommunicado in those cells for three months simply for having repeated their disagreement with current government policy.  During those three months they were made to do without potable water, and had to sleep without mattresses, while the scanty diet allowed them was poorly balanced and lacking vitamins and protein, as a result of which their physical condition deteriorated rapidly.


          The Civic Democratic Party reported that its Vice President, Domiciano Torres Roca, held since August 1993 in the "El Pitirre" prison, is constantly being summoned by the State Security officer Nelson de Armas, who repeatedly threatens him and urges him to stop his denunciations of human rights violations.  Torres' wife, Aida Rosa Jiménez, the President of the party, has been prohibited from visiting him.


          A report has also been received that Gumersindo Valero Díaz and José Ramón Hidalgo have been held in the State Security Department's Villa Maristas detention center since November 1993. They have been accused of belonging to the "Movimiento Martiano por la Libertad y la Democracia".  Both Valero Díaz and Ramón Hidalgo have developed health problems, with weight loss and skin lesions.


          While it is difficult to estimate the number of political prisoners, certain sources put the figure at between 2,000 and 5,000 civilians, including those imprisoned for attempting to leave the country illegal­ly.  Another problem that has to do not only with the percentage of political prisoners and the crowding in the prisons, but is also directly connected with violations of the right to a fair trial and individual freedom is the number of citizens who are languishing in numerous prisons awaiting trial, despite the fact that they were arrested months--and in some cases, years--ago, according to information received.


          Thus, two young men arrested during the October 1993 mass protests, José  A. Pérez and Daniel Santana Quevedo, are still locked up and isolated awaiting trial in Havana's Combinado del Este prison.  Another four young men--Antonio Boza Segura, José Ramón Suárez Alvarez, Orlando Conte Capetillo and José Antonio Díaz Gutiérrez--have been held in the Quivicán prison since September 9, 1993, on a charge of "enemy propaganda" in the high-security area known as "El Tiburón".  Family members are only allowed to visit them once every 60 days.  "These measures are excessive bearing in mind that these four men are awaiting trial and have not yet even been formally charged", according to a note written by the political prisoners in that prison.


          The citizen Mario Camellón has been held in the Ciego de Avila prison for a year and a half without trial for having shouted in front of the Chambas Municipality Communist Party Headquarters "Down with Fidel, we're hungry".  Camellón is obliged to do ten hours a day forced labor, despite his critical state of health (he suffers from pulmonary emphysema).


          The IACHR has also been informed that Carlos Rollo Sala has been held without trial for two years on a charge of "enemy propaganda" in the Valle Grande prison where he has been interned with highly dangerous common criminals. In the same prison, Renato Rodrí­guez Sánchez and Jorge Luis Sánchez Marrero have been held without trial since November 1992, on a charge of alleged "piracy" for attempting to leave the country from the port of Mariel, where they were wounded by shots fired by border guards (two of the crew members, Jorge Luis Sán­chez and Mrs. Yvette Molina, are currently in exile after a second-­-successful--attempt).


          Similarly, according to information received, the trial of Rodolfo Gonzáles, spokesman of the Cuban Human Rights Committee jailed since December 10, 1992, has been postponed.  The reports received state that the trial, which was set for January 28, 1994, was postponed when the court officials realized it had been scheduled for the birthday of the Cuban patriot José Martí.


          Dr. Sebastian Arcos Bergnes, vice president of the Cuban Human Rights Committee, who is 63 years old, has been jailed in the Ariza prison in Cienfuegos province since December 1992.  According to his family, which visited him on July 13, 1994, Dr. Arcos is being held in deplorable conditions, together with common criminals, the food provided is most inadequate, no medical care is available and he is subjected to constant psychological pressures and threats of physical abuse.  Although he was recently moved to different quarters, his new cell has no artificial lighting and the prisoners refer to it as "The Persian Gulf" because of its unbearable heat. The common criminals with whom he shares this cell are young men of between 21 and 30 years of age who have been sentenced to 15 and 30 years for violent crimes, which makes them all the more dangerous.


          During the period covered by this Annual Report the IACHR received the following letter from a prisoner, which it considers appropriate to quote verbatim since it reflects the serious conditions prevailing in Cuban prisons:


                   In the Combinado del Este, designed with a maximum capacity of some 3,000 inmates, over 5,000 have been crammed in.  Some are sleeping on the ground, the vast majority on grass mats without sheets or pillows.  The lack of hygiene, due to official neglect and lack of concern, and the nonavailability of cleaning products and equipment, is harmful and poses a constant hazard to the health of the inmates, who appeal in desperation to their families for medications not obtainable in the prison.  An identical situation prevails in the Guanajay prison, where more than 700 prisoners are being held in some buildings designed for 400 at the most.  In both these prisons, which are swarming with cockroaches, flies and rats, the inmates are exposed to contagious diseases and have at best insufficient medical care or none at all.  A proportion of the inmates in the two prisons are suffering from scabies and tuberculosis, among other diseases.  The scanty and very poor quality food provided includes whole fish mashed in such a way that the prisoners are obliged to swallow spines, scales and pieces of bone.


          The IACHR wishes to underscore that this complaint and the others cited in this chapter constitute evidence of the serious prison conditions and the deliberately severe and degrading treatment meted out to prisoners by the Cuban Government, and that these conditions and the treatment inflicted amount to serious violations of human rights.




          In examining the human rights situation in the different countries, the IACHR has sought to establish the organic relationship between the violation of the rights to physical security, on the one hand, and the disregard of economic and social rights and the suppression of political participation, on the other.  And this relationship is, as has been demonstrated, largely one of cause and effect.  In other words, neglect of economic and social rights, especially when political participation has been suppressed, brings about the sort of social polarization that leads, in its turn, to acts of violence by and against the Government.[9]


          Neglect of economic and social rights is a direct cause--albeit a diffuse and complex one--of violence and social conflicts. The view is generally held and would appear justified that, in the case of certain countries, the extreme poverty of the bulk of the population--itself in part the result of a highly unequal distribution of production resources---has been the basic cause of the terror that has afflicted and is still besetting the countries in question.  However, in general the Commission has been extremely cautious in this sensitive area because it has recognized the difficulty of establishing criteria that could be used to measure compliance by the States with their obligations.  And it has also understood the very difficult choices the governments have to make in allocating resources between consumption and investment, and, therefore, between present and future generations.[10]


          To do so, the Commission has drawn on various sources from which it has obtained sufficient data to assess the economic and social rights situation in Cuba. One of the main sources used is the report on the "Situation of Human Rights in Cuba." submitted by the Special Rapporteur, Mr. Carl-Johan Groth, to the United Nations Human Rights Commission at its 50th session.


          This report--issued by the United Nations on January 24, 1994--presents certain statistics--prepared in 1993--by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), which are quoted below:


a) Life expectancy at birth for 1990 was 75.4 years against 63.8 in 1960;


b) Infant mortality (per 1,000 live births) was 14 children in 1991 against 65 in 1960;


c) The percentage of the population with access to health services (years 1987-1990) was 100%, in both urban and rural areas;


d) The number of inhabitants per physician (years 1984-1989) was 530;


e) The adult literacy rate for 1990 was 94% compared with 87% in 1970;


f) The combined enrollment rate in primary and secondary schools (years 1987-1990) was 95%, compared with 76% in 1970.[11]


          As will be noted, advances cited above in economic, social and cultural rights do not go beyond 1990.  From that year onward economic growth has been negative.  This was inevitable given the serious economic crisis affecting the country. A report prepared abroad by the Christian Democrat Party and quoted by the U.N. Special Rapporteur in fact states that "many of the achievements posted, including the low infant mortality rates, high life expectancy and eradication of diseases, are being severely impacted by the current economic crisis. One of the items most affected is surgical materials. Only emergency cases are being operated on and medicines and laboratory materials are unavailable. The lack of medicines and inadequate food supply are giving rise to vitamin deficiencies and serious nutrition problems."[12]


          Statistics cited by the European Union confirm the above situation and show that "calorie intake per capita and per day was only 1,780 in 1993, which was 1,065 less than in 1989 and even 770 less than in 1960, whereas the ideal is over 3,000. Between 1989 and 1992, output of eleven of the fifteen main agricultural products slumped alarmingly; livestock production fell by 77% as regards poultry meat and by 69% as regards pork. The fall was equally marked in industrial food production; only one tenth the amount of powdered milk placed on sale in 1989 is being produced. The daily glass of milk is now only being provided in the schools, and not even in all of them, to children up to eight years, whereas it used to be given to children up to age 16".[13]


          On this last point, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights wishes to point out that, at its 88th session, witnesses testified about the serious economic situation in Cuba.


          Moreover, the U.N. Special Rapporteur states in his analysis of the prevailing economic situation that "Cuba is passing through one of the most difficult periods of its recent history as regards the economic situation. (...) Living standards have deteriorated to a point where basic services such as public transport are currently almost shut down.  Public reaction to this situation cannot be other than disillusionment and desperation. Furthermore, the Government tends to resort to repressive measures to silence any expression of discontent or of the slightest dissent. Persecution of individuals is practiced at times at the most petty levels and with a harshness that would appear to any impartial observer to be manifestly out of proportion." [14]


          The U.N. Special Rapporteur concludes his analysis by referring to certain of the factors that could have contributed to this situation. In this context he mentions that "The economic reforms are held back by ideological and political factors, in particular by a marked suspicion of anything that might mean limitation of governmental control."[15] (...) "Moreover, the cessation of the flow of aid formerly received from external sources, together with Cuba's virtually total exclusion as a beneficiary of the multilateral financing and technical advice agencies, has not left the government much room for maneuver in this area. A policy toward Cuba based on economic sanctions and other measures aimed at isolating the island constitutes, in the Special Rapporteur's opinion, in the present stage, the most certain way of prolonging an unsustainable domestic situation, since the sole means that would be left to avoid capitulating to external pressures would be to continue making desperate efforts to remain anchored in the past. International sanctions, .... are totally counterproductive if the international community's aim is to improve the human rights situation and at the same time to create conditions for a peaceful and gradual transition to a truly pluralist and civil society".[16]


          The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights accordingly considers that the Cuban crisis has, primarily, deep internal roots that affect not only the economic, political and social sphere, but also are to be found in all the country's institutions in general. The factors that have contributed to this are, essentially, the subord­ination to the political branch of the entire Cuban social dimension, the repressive policy of the regime backed by the country's legislation and insti­tutions, coupled with a system that excludes any differing viewpoint and the absence of effective guarantees that would enable persons to assert their rights vis-à-vis the State.


          The Commission considers it appropriate, however, to reiterate what it stated in its Seventh Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Cuba:


          The Commission trusts that domestic and international conditions will be created that will make it possible to achieve effective and authentic participa­tion by the citizens of Cuba in political decisions affecting them, in setting of freedom and pluralism essential for a real effectiveness of human rights.[17]




          The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights considers it pertinent to note that on December 2, 1994, the United Nations General Assembly issued a resolution during its 49th session entitled Situation of Human Rights in Cuba, the relevant parts of which read as allows:


            Expressing concern about the information on serious human rights violations in Cuba detailed in the provisional report on the situation of human rights in Cuba, submitted to the General Assembly by the Special Rapporteur;


            Noting that the Cuban Government is still not collaborating with the Human Rights Commission with respect to the Commission's Resolution 1994/71, in that it has not permitted the Special Rapporteur to visit Cuba and has not responded to the Special Rapporteur's last request to visit Cuba to carry out his mandate;


            Taking note of the recent visit to Cuba of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights;


            Once again exhorts the Cuban Government to collaborate fully with the Special Rapporteur by permitting him full and free access so that he may establish contacts with the Government and citizens of Cuba in order to carry out the mandate entrusted to him;


            Deeply deplores the numerous unrefuted reports concerning violations of basic human rights and the fundamental freedoms compiled in the report of the Special Rapporteur to the Human Rights Commission and in his provisional report;


            Requests the Cuban Government to recognize the right of the political parties and nongovernmental organizations to function legally in the country, to recognize the freedom of expression, information association, and peaceful demonstration, and to review the sentences for crimes of a political nature;


            Exhorts the Cuban Government to take the other steps proposed in the Special Rapporteur's provisional report, so that the observance of human rights and the fundamental freedoms in Cuba may meet the international standards, in accordance with international law and the pertinent international human rights instruments, and to put an end to all the human rights violations by, among other things, ratifying the international human rights instruments, ceasing to persecute and punish citizens for reasons connected with freedom of expression and of peaceful association, respecting the guarantees of due process and permitting access by independent national groups and international humanitarian organizations to the country's prisons;


            Decides to continue examining this question in its fiftieth session.[18]


          IX.          CONCLUSIONS


          Based on the information set forth in this report, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has arrived at the following conclusions:


          1.          The Commission expresses its deep concern about the serious situation of human rights in Cuba. The factors that have led to this situation are various. In the first place, the impossibility of forming and developing political parties different from the Communist Party is clearly evident. This approach which totally excludes differing political perspectives is strengthened by a number of constitutional provisions that are truly doctrinaire professions of faith:  Article 5, for instance, states that "The Communist Party, which is based on the thinking of Martí and on marxist-leninism and is the organized vanguard of the Cuban nation, is the higher directing force of society and of the State, which organizes and guides the common efforts toward the high purposes of the building of socialism and progress toward the communist society."


          2.          In respect of party political activity, practice in Cuba is not consistent with the Commission's doctrine according to which the existence of diverse political parties is a fundamental condition for democracy and a curb on monopoly of power by one person or one group.[19]  On the contrary, the constitutional provisions provide the legal basis to justify the monopoly of power by the Communist Party.


          3.          The preceding conclusion is consistent with that stated by the Commission in its Seventh Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Cuba:


          ... the subordination of the administration of justice to the political power, the lack of constitutional provisions that regulate in an effective manner the exercise of citizens' rights vis-à-vis the State, the inclusion in the text of the Constitution of numerous dectrinaire professions of faith excluding different political viewpoints (which is reflected in severe restrictions on the normal operation of a plurality of political organizations), necessarily lead to the structure of the Cuban State being considered totalitarian.[20]


          4.          The analysis of the information provided to the Commission in the course of 1994 served to demonstrate that the arguments presented in its Seventh Report remain valid.  What is more, the Commission considers that the human rights situation in general has continued to worsen.  In the result there is a situation that could generate a social explosion of incalculable dimensions.  As a result, the Government's repression of political dissent, the de facto and de jure subordination of the administration of justice to the Government Party, the lack of guarantees against arbitrary arrest, and the deliberately severe and degrading conditions in Cuban prisons, combined with the serious economic situation, constitute a dangerous potential for social conflicts and are a matter of profound concern for the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.


          5.          Consequently, the Commission considers it absolutely necessary that the Cuban Government immediately initiate political and economic reforms in order to prevent the situation deteriorating even further.  If the present situation continues, the outcome would be extremely serious for the human rights situation in general.  The fact is that hunger and poverty are generating despair in the population.  Citizens are combining to mount protests that are in turn violently repressed by the Government.  The greater the repression, the greater are the human rights violations.  And this does not include the hundreds of persons who put out to sea--with the risk of perishing in the attempt--in search of better prospects.


          6.          In light of these conclusions, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights considers it pertinent to note that it will continue closely monitoring the human rights situation in Cuba, in accordance with its mandate to protect and promote human rights in each of the countries of the hemisphere.

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    [1]  Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Diez Años de Actividades, 1971-1981, General Secretariat of the Organization of American States, Washington, D.C., 1982, p. 326.

    [2]  IACHR, Diez Años.... op. cit., p. 325.

    [3]  IACHR, Seventh Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Cuba, p. 81, para. 8.

    [4]  The "Brigadas de Acción Rápida" were established in June 1991 by the Government Attorney's office.  These units are made up of civilians and their assignment is to put down any sign of public discontent or "manifestation of counter-revolutionary sentiment".  According to information received by the IACHR, their actions remain unpunished, especially when they violate the rights of persons engaged in promotion and protection of human rights.  Their favorite tactic is the so-called "act of repudiation."

    [5]  Martin Lionel, "Reestructuración sindical en Cuba", Cuba Internacional, April 1971, p. 28-30. Cited by the IACHR, Seventh Report on the Situation on Human Rights in Cuba, p. 155.

    [6]  CTC Bylaws and Declaration of Principles and Foundations, pp. 1-10.

    [7]  IACHR.  Diez Años..., op. cit., page 327.

    [8]  The IACHR Secretariat has the audiovisual testimony of a survivor.

    [9]  IACHR, Annual Report, 1979-80, p. 143.

    [10]  Ibid, p. 144.

    [11]  United Nations, Economic and Social Council, E/CN.4/1994/51, January 24, 1994, page 23, paragraph 48.

    [12]  Ibid, page 23, paragraph 51.

    [13]  Cuba pide auxilio a Europa para evitar el colapso sanitario, El País, Madrid, Spain. May 1, 1994, pp.10-11.

    [14]  United Nations, General Assembly, A/47/625, November 19, 1992, page 21, paragraph 61.

    [15]  United Nations, Economic and Social Council, E/CN.4/1994/51, January 24, 1994, page 25, paragraph 58.

    [16]  United Nations, General Assembly, A/47/625, November 19, 1992, page 21, paragraph 60.

    [17]  IACHR, The Situation of Human Rights in Cuba, Seventh Report, OAS 1983, p. 241.

    [18]  United Nations, General Assembly, A/C.3/49/L.46, December 2, 1994.

    [19]  IACHR, Diez Años de Actividades 1971-1981, OAS, Washington, D.C., 1982, p. 332.

    [20]  IAHCR, The Situation of Human Rights in Cuba, Seventh Report, 1983, OAS, p. 31, paragraph 39.