Cuba Is Obliged to Allow Peaceful Protests, says UN Official

Havana protest on July 11, 2021. Foto: Adalberto Roque / AFP.

Social tensions in Cuba are about to reach boiling point with 15N around the corner – and many different scenarios could play out.

By El Toque

HAVANA TIMES – Clement Nyaletsossi Voule, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Association and Peaceful Assembly, issued a reminder to the Cuban government – on the morning on November 11th 2021 – in regard to the imminent 15N protest.

On his Twitter profile, Voule clarified the Cuban Government’s obligation to protect and facilitate expression through the peaceful protest summoned by the Archipielago group. “It’s a violation of state obligation,” he said, “to harass and intimidate the organizers in order to prevent peaceful protests.”

A day before (November 10th), the office of Michelle Bachelet, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, declared that it would monitor “the human rights situation in Cuba remotely” in regard to what happens on 15N. However, the Office stated that it had no authority to take part in in situ monitoring; and it repeated its willingness to provide assistance to the Government and other actors when they need it.

Social tensions in Cuba are about to reach boiling point with 15N around the corner – and many different scenarios could play out. Cuban ambassador, Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla, appeared before the accredited diplomatic body on the island, on the morning of November 10th. Among other matters, he repeated in his speech that the protests were part of a strategy funded by the US Government to overthrow the Cuban socialist system.

In the evening that same day (November 10th), Yunior Garcia Aguilera, Archipielago’s director and coordinator, posted a statement on his Facebook page. He announced his decision to walk alone on November 14th “in the name of every citizen who has been robbed of their right to protest on 15N by the regime” and added: “I will walk in silence at 3 PM in the afternoon, down 23rd Avenue in Havana’s Vedado neighborhood, from Parque Quijote to the Malecon, carrying a single white rose. This isn’t a heroic act, it’s an act of responsibility.”

Protest is a human and basic right when peaceful, and it should never be interpreted as an act of rebellion, ever. Occupying the public space – in contrast to the private space – is one of the characteristics and effects of the nature of protest. The lack of a law in Cuba that delimits or regulates the right to protest threatens respect and civic spirit and offers a broad margin for government agencies to act, putting them in a position of irrevocable power regarding those who dissent.

Nyaletsossi Voule’s warning call is in keeping with the general principles established in the Joint Declaration on the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and democratic governance. This declaration was signed on December 9, 2020 by Voule in coordination with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression, the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders at the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR), and the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights  (ODIHR).

As part of the principles outlined in this document, the obligation of States to “pursue an approach based upon the principle that freedom of peaceful assembly is a fundamental right and not a privilege” was recognized.

It also states that “States must respect and ensure the rights of all persons participating in assemblies without discrimination on any grounds.”

Read more from Cuba here on Havana Times.


5 thoughts on “Cuba Is Obliged to Allow Peaceful Protests, says UN Official

  • November 16, 2021 at 1:34 pm
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    Don Dallimore, he from northern Canada, obviously does not comprehend that putting money into Cuban banks means converting into Cuban pesos, which are worthless, but that as the Cuban regime owns the banks, it welcomes the hard currency from the capitalist world. With regard to his querying whether it would be possible to monitor what is going on in Cuban bank accounts, he can rest assured that the communist regime monitors everything! Alejandro Castro Espin would be offended by Don’s ignorance of MININT’s efficiency.

  • November 15, 2021 at 10:03 am
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    “Cuba Is Obliged to Allow Peaceful Protests, says UN Official”

    Not according the dictatorship in Cuba and their dictatorship buddies Venezuela and Nicaragua.
    Disgraceful these 3 dictatorships in our hemisphere.

  • November 13, 2021 at 7:40 pm
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    Imagine – Cubans having rights! What wishful thinking !

    The harsh reality will be demonstrated on November 15 !

  • November 13, 2021 at 5:29 pm
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    I wonder if it would possible to monitor the leaders of the so-called, ‘peaceful march’ Bank accounts before and after the event (if it takes place) November 15?
    I would imagine there would be a large influx of US Dollars deposited by these US NGO-paid Cuban dissidents.
    This is the type of Regime-change-warfare, used EXCLUSIVELY by the CIA’s 17 Nefarious acronym-named divisions,]such as USAID, NED, etc.
    The whole world KNOWS what the US Government is capable of, yet it STILL calls itself a ‘Democratic’ nation. This is Democracy, US-STYLE!

    If the Cuban government has any sense at all, it will NOT allow this US Plan to destabilize the Cuban Government by cancelling the parade, regardless of the rhetoric from the Warmongering, Hegemonic, US Government minions.

    This is, and ALWAYS HAS BEEN, the modus operandi of the US Government!

    Don, from northern Canada

  • November 13, 2021 at 3:24 pm
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    The failed Castro dictatorship tends to respond to protests, large or small, in the same way. They use an authoritarian playbook developed in the 1950s in the former Soviet Union. Cuba deploys thugs dressed in street clothes and policemen who spend most of their day in the gym to turn back street protesters. Those that get arrested are beaten and kept off the street at least 24 hours with some held for weeks without formal charges being filed. Same old same old. What’s interesting about 15N is that the whole world is paying attention. Unlike previous protests, technology will allow the world to watch the oppression take place in real time. If the internet is shut off, you can be sure that footage will be uploaded as soon as the internet is unblocked. So, will Diaz-Canel send in the thugs despite the cameras that are certain to record their abuses. When protesters are arrested, there will video proof that they were taken into custody. Can the regime deny knowledge of their whereabouts as is usually the case? The old playbook will not work, at least not without the world knowing about it.

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