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April 2015
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Forum for Rights and Freedoms, Declaration, VII Summit of the Americas

Forum for Rights and Freedoms, Declaration, VII Summit of the Americas
Posted on April 8, 2015

Forum for Rights and Freedoms: Declaration
VII Summit of the Americas
April 2015

Violations of fundamental rights in Cuba are enshrined in the current
legal system. The full exercise of these fundamental rights is
considered directly opposed to the interests “of the Cuban people in
building socialism and communism.”

The so-called constitution establishes the ownership and control of the
State and the Communist Party over the communication media and mass
distribution. The Law of Protection of National Independence and the
Economy of Cuba, known as the Gag Law, sets sentences of up to 20 years
for those who attempt to violate this provision.

Trade unions, civic, professional and human rights associations that do
not profess the official ideology are not recognized. Those who attempt
to organize meetings or found independent associations can suffer
imprisonment, dismissal, harassment or intimidation. Thousands of Cubans
have paid, even with their lives, for trying to exercise their freedoms.

The Penal Code defines “pre-criminal dangerousness” and applies it
according to the standards of a supposed “socialist morality.” Arrests,
imprisonments and beatings of human rights activists, political
opponents and independent journalists are recurring.

The use of violence on the part of paralegal groups as a form of social
control has been one of the most abhorrent practices of the Castro
regime. This deplorable experience has been exported to other Latin
American nations, as was the case of the Dignity Brigades 25 years ago
in Panama, and the so-called Collectives in Venezuela today.

Economic rights are also violated and the entrepreneurial capacity and
character of Cubans struggling against a regime obsessed with control.
Corruption, taxes that smother micro-businesses, total State control
over imports and exports, the absence of property rights, make up a part
of our scenario. The economic situation is dire.

The regime has ratified dozens of international treaties on the issue of
Human Rights, although it refuses to ratify the Human Rights Covenants
of the United Nations. However, the majority of these standards have not
been applied to the legal system, becoming a dead letter. The Castro
regime continues to hide fugitives from justice for common crimes and
terrorism. It violates international norms as in in the case of the
recent arms trafficking and maintains a “complicit silence” about the
trafficking of Cubans to the United States through third countries.

We do not accept the mutation of a neo-Castro authoritarianism, where
the old elite transfers power to its political and family heirs.

The sovereignty of our country does not rest on a despotic and corrupt
regime. It rests in the people and, in particular, in those of us who
fight for a true democracy: with political pluralism, an independent
judiciary, freedom and human rights. Where we Cubans can define our
destinies through consultations and free and transparent electoral
processes, as set out in important opposition documents such as: The
Agreement for Democracy, or the Forum for Rights and Freedoms Roadmap.

No society can be viable if it oppresses the human being. To accept that
there are different interpretations of our freedoms constitutes a tactic
that validates authoritarianism as an alternate form to democracy on our

We appeal to the solidarity and the just support of the entire regional
and international community to initiate the urgent path to the
democratization of our nation.

Source: Forum for Rights and Freedoms, Declaration, VII Summit of the
Americas | Translating Cuba –

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