A Disappointing International Human Rights Day in Cuba

Dariela Aquique

From franciscansinternational.org
From franciscansinternational.org

HAVANA TIMES — International Human Rights Day has just been celebrated and Ziad Abu Ein, a Palestinian minister who took part in a planting of olive trees near Ramala, was murdered by an Israeli soldier. The soldier hit the minister on the chest with his rifle and beat his head with a helmet. Combined with the inhalation of tear gases, this put the man in a coma from which he did not return.

Across the world, Mexico continues to be gripped by mourning and uncertainty over the disappearance of 43 students who led a protest in Ayotzinapa. A little to the north, in different cities around the United States, protests over the exoneration of a police officer who gunned down a young African-American (Michael Brown) continue.

On the eve of Human Rights Day, the United States publicly acknowledged that the CIA employs torture methods with prisoners who are presumed to be extremists. Such abominable crimes and human rights violations have been perpetrated in the name of the struggle against terrorism.

The south, in Latin America, President Dilma Rousseff is unable to hold back tears before the Truth Commission, created in Brazil to investigate all human rights violations committed in the country during the dictatorship. There is a glimmer of hope that justice will be made there, even if it comes a little too late.

This is but the tip of the iceberg. Though Ban Ki Moon condemns events in the Gaza Strip, we all know that the UN is a symbolic institution. Across the world, impunity reigns: those with power (be it the Left or the Right) do as they please.

President Maduro continues to demand respect in Venezuela, with tough-guy speeches condemning imperialism.

At home, the headlines speak of the day, extolling Cuba’s work in defense of the human rights of children and for free education and health. They publish photos of smiling school children and doctor’s offices and say nothing about the issue of democracy (much less about Cuban dissidents).

Perhaps one day, just as the use of torture methods by the CIA was declassified, the many human rights violations that the Cuban government zealously conceals will come to light. The day in which a Truth Commission is created on the island and justice finally arrives may not be far off.

That could be a silver lining for us, and perhaps International Human Rights Day will one day be less sad and disappointing.

2 thoughts on “A Disappointing International Human Rights Day in Cuba

  • How there is not mentioning of the 85 people detained along Cuba protesting against the regime that day?

  • As long as the Castros rule Cuba, the hope for a Truth Commission is a pipe dream. First, get rid of the Castros then hope for a change is possible.

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