By Circles Robinson
HAVANA TIMES, March 22 — The Voice of America published an editorial on Monday once again singling out Cuba as a violator of human rights.
The US government says that since its previous report in 2009, “the Cuban government has made no has made no effort to expand political freedoms. One party rule remains the law of the land, and when elections are held they are neither free nor fair.”
The attack on Havana continues: “Citizens have no avenues to press for change. There also remain strict limitations on freedom of expression and freedom of movement. Internal travel is restricted and Cuban citizens are selectively denied exit permits to leave the island even for short trips. There is no free press. The government also censors and greatly restricts access to the Internet.”
“Draconian laws maintain state control, allowing for punishment of any unauthorized assembly of more than 3 persons, including private religious services. The law also provides for imprisonment for vaguely defined crimes such as “dangerousness,” a pre-emptive arrest for a crime that hasn’t been committed. The government has held numerous opposition leaders on such authority on prison sentences up to 25 years, even for engaging in peaceful political activities,” says VOA.
In his campaign, President Obama had led many to believe that if elected he would move to reestablish relations with Cuba and that he would eliminate the travel ban on US citizens wanting to visit the neighboring island.
After a year plus in office, the president’s Cuba policy has thus far turned out to resemble his 10 predecessors in many ways including the maintaining of a half century economic blockade on the island, the biggest obstacle for normalization.
Each year the US government judges other nations on their human rights observance. It does not issue a similar report about human rights violations in the United States.