Reports from Cuba: Cuban Observatory urges ‘a more demanding posture’ from the EU toward Havana

14yMedio reports from Havana via Translating Cuba:

Cuban Observatory Urges “A More Demanding Posture” From the EU Toward Havana

Cuban police detain the activist Iliana Hernández during the LGBTI independent march on May 11 in Havana.

The Cuban Observatory of Human Rights (OCDH) has urged the new legislature of the European Union, which will come into office in the next few weeks, to present “a more demanding posture in face of the human rights violations in Cuba,” according to a statement published this week.

The OCDH also details in its text that during the month of July on the Island arbitrary detentions and repressive actions increased in Cuba. “There were at least 263 arbitrary arrests, within a total of more than 300 repressive actions by the authorities.”

The Observatory, headquartered in Madrid, adds to these repressive acts “cases of home raids, illegal summons, prohibition of trips abroad, and besieged houses, among others.” The provinces with the most worrying rates have been Havana, Matanzas, Santiago de Cuba, and Villa Clara.

“Some of the cases had special relevance in July, like the explusion of Omara Ruiz Urquiola as a university professor at the Advanced Institute of Design in Havana,” details the report. “The human rights activist suffers from cancer and has claimed on several occasions that the island’s medical authorities are denying her treatment,” it adds.

The arrest of the independent journalist Ricardo Fernández Izaguirre, a contributer to 14ymedio, is also included in the text. The reporter was “detained for nine days, four of them totally isolated. Later he was fined and deported from the capital to Camagüey. His case is typical of the shameless breach of the by now arbitrary Cuban national law,” it claims.

Iliana Hernández, contributer for the portal CiberCuba, also “was detained by the police twice in July,” adds the OCDH.

In the next few weeks a new legislature will begin in the European Union and the matter of human rights “cannot be subordinated to geopolitical calculations, much less when people, now not only in Cuba, but also in Venezuela and Nicaragua, look at Europe as a global benchmark in the defense of democratic values and human dignity,” affirmed Alejandro González Raga, executive director of OCDH.

Recently the organization published a report claiming that in the first half of 2019 there were at least 1,468 arbitrary detentions against opposition figures, independent journalists, and activists on the Island.

Translated by: Sheilagh Herrera