Every Day is Human Rights Day

By Mauricio Mendoza

State security agents waiting to arrest an artist if he leaves his home on International Human Rights Day.

HAVANA TIMES – It’s December 10th and seemingly calm waters become agitated. Human Rights Day in Cuba isn’t a day of celebration, or even dialogue or tolerance between government authorities and civilians for that matter.

Social media is full of sad news. Each and every one of these stories brings the words oppression, totalitarianism, dictatorship and persecution, to mind.

Artists, activists and independent journalists have a target on their backs, nowadays. There are so many different operations and resources being spent to keep these people under siege, who peacefully fight for democracy and equality among all Cubans.

I wonder just how dangerous people like Amaury Pacheco, Luis Manuel Otero, Jorge Olivera and Nancy Alfaya, rapper Osvaldo Navarro and other artists and human rights activists, really are when they take to the street and even speak their minds in front of civilians. A government which has steady foundations wouldn’t topple in a day just because a couple of activists have taken to the street.

The human rights struggle is every day, December 10th is just a date. A date which the Cuban government takes advantage of to take off its mask and show its true autocratic and insecure face.

State Security agent can be seen waiting to nab an artist if he/she dares leave their apartment building on International Human Rights Day.

Official news hasn’t really spoken about the occasion up until now, thereby keeping most Cubans in the dark about this day’s true meaning. Which doesn’t really make sense if we keep in mind its discourse of equality, democracy and acceptance that they sell to politicians worldwide. Not too long ago, President Miguel Diaz-Canel himself said that nobody was persecuted in Cuba for opposing the Revolution.

December 10th is an important day. However, the human rights struggle is constant and in the minds of everyone who dreams of a better world for our children and children-to-be.

This struggle is as constant as the repression we suffer for demanding equality for every living being on this Earth, whether that’s plants or animals, because neither our politicians nor even us human beings, are the center of this world.

There are more important things that go beyond the basic. Today is Human Rights Day, just as every day is for the rest of our lives, therefore, these are days for us to strive to become better humans.



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Fruit & Vegetable Vendor, Havana, Cuba. By Betsy Powers (USA). Camera: Canon Eos 6D

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