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August 2012
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Client-User Defenselessness

Client-User Defenselessness / Cuban Law Association, Lic. E. Javier

Hernandez H.

Cuban Law Association, E. Javier Hernandez H., Translator: Courtney Finkel

For years there has been a reality in our country that isn't exposed nor

analyzed from all angles as the suffering of citizens deserves to be: it

pertains to the defenseless state of Cuban

client-user-buyer-consumer-constituents in the face of administrative

and governmental requests, particularly when the parameters of quality,

efficient operation, or the most basic rights are not fulfilled or


We are observing in a majority of cases that come to our Association, in

addition to our becoming a last resort or "lifesaving plank in the vast

sea"; we can see inefficiency, laziness and insensitivity. The

fundamental causes of our compatriots' troubles are also the errors or

violations committed toward them by entities and officials with

impunity, sheltered by the lack of culture and discipline that would

allow administrative and judicial proceedings to be correctly appealed

and directed for the sake of restoring violated rights.

The ultimate tendency of the Organs of State Administration, as well as

their subordinates, is the refusal to respond, be it a quality parameter

claim, a complaint, a violation of rights or a breach of contract with

the main service providers, be it the Electric Company, (mobile

phone and landlines), Aguas de la Habana (the water company),

Immigration, , among others. Examples abound as water service

days are skipped, telephones break or are suspended without

compensation, decisions delay or prohibit exit from and entry to the

country, and seizures occur at officials' discretion or interpretation

without legal basis; in the end, the common Cuban's defenseless

situations are endless.

The country's top leaders are carrying out an offensive against

corruption—an evil that is difficult to avoid, especially in a country

of fundamental weaknesses, as much present in the Basic Basket as

in other individual liberties—a very valid offensive, since with

egalitarianism, paternalism and decontrol, it is nearly impossible to

move forward and plan with what little we have; however, as always, we

observe how far removed this is from the citizens' own "offensive."

Why is it so difficult for the Comptroller to review the Municipal

Agencies, where records of exchanges or expropriations get lost?

Why don't the supervisors of Justice reach the Municipal and Provincial

Courts, where they almost always don't know or don't want to properly

prosecute citizens' administrative, labor and civil cases against those

monopolistic businesses that frequently operate with impunity and

contract abuse?

When will the those charged with applying the law of our country's

People's Courts of Justice recognize their latent responsibility to use

their wisdom to support a true equilibrium, between arrogance, impunity,

mediocrity, and insensitivity of those "officials" and the defenseless


When should these same professionals turn to a concept as a guide in

their precincts… "to challenge dominant, powerful forces within and

beyond the social and national scope…" or also… "defend the values we

believe in, at any cost…"

Or also, why not, to feel that our profession has been a marker and an

honor in the history of democratic and just society, in the brilliance

of public servants like Lincoln, Jefferson, Montesquieu, Agramonte,

Céspedes, and Martí.

There is still time to participate judiciously in a new society, where

we will lack neither compensation, retribution, certification, nor

justice in the shadow of whatever power.

Translated by: Courtney Finkel

August 25 2012

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