U.S. State Department Human Rights Report on Cuba

The U.S. State Department has released its Human Rights Report. Here is the summary on Cuba:

Cuba is a totalitarian state led by Raul Castro, who is the chief of state, president of the council of state and council of ministers, and commander in chief of the armed forces. At the Sixth Communist Party Congress held in April, delegates also elected Castro as party first secretary. The constitution recognizes the Communist Party (CP) as the only legal party and “the superior leading force of society and of the state.” The 2008 legislative elections were neither free nor fair. A CP candidacy commission preapproved all candidates, and all 614 members ran unopposed. Security forces reported to a national leadership that included members of the military.

The principal human rights abuses were: abridgement of the right of citizens to change their government; government threats, intimidation, mobs, harassment, and detentions to prevent citizens from assembling peacefully; and a significant increase in the number of short-term detentions, which in December rose to the highest monthly number in 30 years.

The following additional human rights abuses continued: beatings, harsh prison conditions, and selective prosecution and denial of fair trial. Authorities interfered with privacy and engaged in pervasive monitoring of private communications. The government also placed severe limitations on freedom of speech and press, restricted freedom of movement, and limited freedom of religion. The government refused to recognize independent human rights groups or permit them to function legally. In addition, the government continued to place severe restrictions on worker rights, including the right to form independent unions.

Most human rights abuses were official acts committed at the direction of the government, and consequently the perpetrators enjoyed impunity for their actions.

The complete report is available HERE.

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