Human Rights in Cuba

By Elio Delgado Legon

Prisoners at the US Naval Base on occupied Cuban territory in Guantanamo.

HAVANA TIMES – The US government has repeatedly voiced its concerns about human rights violations in Cuba. They’re right, human rights are being violated in Cuba. There is an illegal prison on Cuban soil, where hundreds of inmates have been tortured, held without being sentenced or taken to trial, which is a criminal violation of these people’s human rights, and many are still in a legal limbo.

However, this prison isn’t a Cuban prison. It’s a US military base that has been occupying Cuban land illegally, against the Cuban people’s and government’s will. So, who are the ones violating human rights?

On the other hand, the Cuban people have been subjected to an economic, commercial, and financial blockade for sixty years now, and any relationship they have with banks, companies, ships, etc. are relentlessly persecuted.

The blockade was implemented to stop the Cuban people from having access to food, medicine, medical equipment and many other things, which the US has itself declared is to cause starvation, diseases, all kinds of calamities and make the Cuban people desperate. That is to practice genocide and a flagrant and systematic violation of an entire nation’s human rights, for such a long time.

So, who are the ones violating Cubans’ human rights?

If the US government really had a shred of dignity it wouldn’t bring up the subject of human rights, much less accuse other countries of violating them, when they themselves are far from being an example on this issue, especially within their own borders. Plus, as we all know, they support governments that flagrantly violate the human rights of their own people and other countries, which they shamelessly attack, trusting that they have the US government’s support.

To just give you one example of the many I can list, the people of Palestine immediately come to mind. Their land was invaded by Israel in 1967 and they have had all of their rights systematically violated, even the most important: their right to life. Knowing they have the US’ full support, they murder, bomb, destroy, evict Palestinians from their homes and there has been no way to stop this massacre, as any resolution presented to the UN Security Council is vetoed by the US.

Other examples we see on a daily basis in our own region, where citizens are systematically murdered and repressed with force, and they aren’t considered human rights violators…

In spite of the blockade, Cuba has made important breakthroughs, with a health system that has been classified as one of the best systems in the world, and access is free and universal, ensuring that every Cuban has the right to healthcare and it has allowed the island to tackle the pandemic with positive results.

Furthermore, the Cuban health system has been able to help over 50 countries to fight the pandemic and to improve their health indicators. While the US government has stopped medicine and medical equipment (which could help the Cuban people) from reaching Cuba. They continue to want the Cuban people to suffer the blockade’s consequences, but they don’t believe this to be a human rights violation. How much hypocrisy!

“While some countries promote solidarity, others are stepping up unilateral coercive measures, attacks and all kinds of threats, that are flagrant human rights violations for entire nations,” said Juan Antonio Quintanilla, Cuba’s permanent representative at the 46th ordinary session of the UN Human Rights Council, held in Geneva, Switzerland.

The Cuban permanent representative also added that “while some defend the human rights system as a real space for dialogue and cooperation, others are using it as a political weapon against third parties, and even to openly promote destabilization and regime change.”

The country that violates human rights the most has no moral high ground to accuse others in this matter.

Read more from Elio Delgado Legon here.

Elio Delgado Legon

Elio Delgado-Legon: I am a Cuban who has lived for 80 years, therefore I know full well how life was before the revolution, having experienced it directly and indirectly. As a result, it hurts me to read so many aspersions cast upon a government that fights tooth and nail to provide us a better life. If it hasn’t fully been able to do so, this is because of the many obstacles that have been put in its way.


5 thoughts on “Human Rights in Cuba

  • May 26, 2021 at 3:03 pm
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    So “Elio” is just an account run by the Cuban government, right?

  • May 26, 2021 at 8:54 am
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    Time to end your embarrassing communist dictatorship in Havana.
    It’s a total failure.
    Start fresh with democracy it will be a huge breath of fresh air.

  • May 20, 2021 at 3:37 pm
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    Elio is correct to say that the illegal prison at the U.S. occupied part of Guantanamo is a violation of human rights. A sickening violation that has gone on too long.
    The USA’s little buddy out in the Middle East, Israel, is also a violator of human rights. They steal peoples land and when those people protest too much, there is a killing spree.
    It happens over and over whilst the outside world does nothing.

    What Elio fails to mention is Cuba’s own questionable record regarding rights such as freedom of speech. This is not in the same league of the violations committed by the USA or Israel but it can still be described as a violation.
    But Elio is never going to call out his own Government is he?

    Where Elio is again correct is where he hints that the USA accuses others but is itself on no moral high ground. Absolutely correct.
    The USA even violates the freedom of its own people by trying to take away their right to travel freely to destinations of their own choosing. Eg: Cuba.
    A relatively mild violation in comparison to what goes down at Guantanamo, but still a definite violation of U.S. citizens’ rights to make their own choices.

  • May 20, 2021 at 9:40 am
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    “The country that violates human rights the most has no moral high ground to accuse others in this matter.” Elio needs to look into a mirror when he says this. When one lives in a totalitarian state and fully supports it unequivocally, all outsiders, particularly an outsider geographically located only 90 odd miles to the north, is viewed with skepticism and derision.

    I agree with Elio on his comments regarding the situation at Guantanamo. The United States clearly is in violation of international law in keeping political prisoners in prison in another country so that the Americans themselves do not have to grant the prisoners’ their lawful legal rights. There is definitely is a case of human rights violations.

    I agree with Elio on his comments regarding the situation in Gaza. The United States and many Western countries, Canada included, has more often than not sided with Israel in this long standing battle of wills. Absolutely Israel must defend itself against rocket attacks; similarly, the Palestinians have every right to defend their territorial rights and they have every right to try and stop further Israeli territorial expansion into their holy lands. Human rights are clearly being violated and, sadly, there is no end in sight.

    What does the international community see with open eyes in Cuba? Exactly what Elio wrote: “ . . . we see on a daily basis in our own region, where citizens are systematically murdered and repressed with force, and they aren’t considered human rights violators…” Well, to Elio, they should be.

    We see Cuban citizens holding a placard or a sign openly expressing their opinion on a city street and where in most other countries such a public show of sentiment is perfectly normal and acceptable, but in repressive Cuba, repressive China, repressive Russia, repressive Venezuela, that sort of public expression of a normal basic human right is prohibited, unlawful, and subject to jail time.

    Where are the human rights to those Cuban individuals who seek an alternative solution to Cuba’s civil and economic problems. In any totalitarian state any divergence from the Party line is seen as suspect, a threat, counter Revolutionary, an enemy to be silenced. There are no human rights in a totalitarian state because such a thing as free public expression is oxymoronic to the ideals of totalitarianism. It’s like expecting a snowball to freeze in hell. It makes no sense.

    Elio often proudly extols Cuba’s health care system: “ . . . a health system that has been classified as one of the best systems in the world . . .” No doubt, Elio has a point there looking at the health care system from a macro perspective, but from a micro perspective from the perspective of the ordinary Cuban on the street who has to deal with health issues that noble sentiment is hard to square.

    In the article “Scabies on the Rise and Spreading in Cuba” May 18, 2021 in HT many Cubans, particularly children, are suffering from a very treatable health care issue. What is the Cuban government’s response to its citizens regarding this itching situation: “ . . . the government has said little or nothing about this “plague” that has the country itching all over.”

    When a totalitarian state, such as Cuba, does not want any negative news to go public, basic human rights to information and help are thrown by the way side so that the state is not seen as malevolent. The state’s ideals take precedence over human rights – that is a given and thus, unfortunate, for the majority of Cubans.

  • May 19, 2021 at 8:19 pm
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    I have long believed that Elio is no fool. Nor is he an intentional liar. So, after reading this, his latest post, I am convinced that he is simply misinformed. Here’s why: The US embargo against Cuba absolutely and positively does not prevent food and medicine from being sold and delivered to Cuba. If you don’t understand this, please reread the last sentence again.

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