Over the last five years since the last Universal Periodic Review by the UN Human Rights Council, the communist Castro dictatorship has only increased its repression against the Cuban people, Speaking in Geneva, Cuban human rights activists pointed to the continued oppression that takes place on the island on a daily basis and the brutal crackdown that took place after the massive island-wide protests on July 11, 2021.
Five years since the last UN examination, repression has increased in Cuba, activists say in Geneva
Hours before the Universal Periodic Review of Cuba at the Human Rights Council in Geneva—and under the auspices of the Center for a Free Cuba and the organization UN Watch—activists from the island denounced a worsening of human rights violations.
“Five years after its previous evaluation, human rights violations have increased on the island. The entire world was able to see this during various popular protests, especially the historic one on July 11, 2021,” stated Sirley Ávila León at the parallel forum held at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva.
Rosa María Payá Acevedo, leader of the Cuba Decide project, affirmed that “only international action can exert enough pressure on the regime to stop the repression.”
“It is crucial for the democracies that are part of the Human Rights Council to join in the official condemnation of the Cuban regime and take action. International solidarity is essential to prevent further murders by the Cuban dictatorship,” she said, referring to the regime’s responsibility for the death of her father, the opposition leader Oswaldo Payá.
Similarly, activist Yunier Suárez insisted on questioning “why credibility, listening, and legitimacy are given to the narrative of the regime, and not to the will of democratic changes towards a State of Law that Cuban citizens have manifestly expressed for years.”
According to the academic Anamely Ramos, all the described realities “would be sufficient for Cuba not to have a seat on the Human Rights Council, and for it to have been seriously questioned.”
John Suárez, Executive Director of the Center for a Free Cuba, denounced that Havana “has repeatedly subverted the Universal Periodic Review of the United Nations since 2009, by using front groups to suppress critical reports.”
At the event moderated by Hillel C. Neuer, Executive Director of UN Watch, the documentary “Free from Inside” was presented—a graphic denunciation by the audiovisual project Palenque Vision that captures the unprecedented testimony of political prisoners from July 11th and their families.
Cuba will undergo the Universal Periodic Review on Human Rights on November 15 for the fourth time since the United Nations mechanism was established.