Cuban activists testify at OAS event about the worsening human rights situation in Cuba

Despite efforts by some in the international community to hide the human rights atrocities committed by the communist Castro dictatorship, Cuban activists and dissidents continue to speak out.

Nora Gamez Torres reports via

Activists warn of a human-rights crisis in Cuba during event hosted by the OAS in Washington

The human-rights situation in Cuba has deteriorated dramatically, with the country holding more than a thousand political prisoners amid a crackdown on freedom of expression and association that poses a unique challenge in the Americas, several Cuban dissidents, activists, journalists and artists, as well as Organization of American States officials, said during an event hosted by the regional organization in Washington on Tuesday.

“The Cuban case is different from other countries because the violations of freedom of expression and association are of systematic and widespread origin, part of the mechanisms through which the regime maintains power, and it is a state policy to deny citizens basic freedoms,” said Edgar Stuardo Ralón Orellana, who is charged with reporting on the rights of persons deprived of liberty in the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, which is part of the OAS.

Ralón Orellana said the commission had received several complaints and documented several strategies the Cuban government deploys to deny freedom of expression and censor critics, among them arbitrary detentions, interrogations, internet censorship, travel bans and threats to family members.

“These are not new strategies, and they continue to deteriorate rapidly,” he said, adding that while Cuba is not an active member of the OAS, it is one of its founding members and is still bound under the organization’s charter to comply with the recommendations made by the commission.

OAS Secretary Luis Almagro said Cuba should not be an exception in the Americas.

“The situation of Cuba and the political prisoners cannot be made invisible,” he said. “We have an important role to play. Cubans have a right to democracy.”

According to Prisoners Defenders, a Madrid-based organization, there are currently 1,066 political prisoners in Cuba, a number that skyrocketed after the islandwide protests on July 11, 2021. Among them there are 17 minors sentenced under sedition convictions, the organization’s president, Javier Larrondo, said.

“Now the prisons in Cuba have people who were not dissidents but simple families who took to the streets to demonstrate,” he said. “This repression is not occasional, it is structural.”

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1 thought on “Cuban activists testify at OAS event about the worsening human rights situation in Cuba”

  1. Uh, the OAS is aware. Perfectly aware. It’s just that practically all of its members couldn’t care less.

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