Osmel Ramirez Alvarez
HAVANA TIMES — According to Cuba’s Attorney General, no Cuban citizen has the right to take legal action or file charges against any authority’s abuse of power, you can only file a “complaint”. This is then recorded by a district attorney, investigated and then a response is given. If they believe the complaint to be important, or likely, then they might begin legal proceedings.
However, when it comes to the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MININT), especially State Security, they say “that they don’t have legal jurisdiction to question its procedures, that its attributions begin when a legal procedure is undertaken and they are given the case. In the meantime, the ministry officials are the masters of the situation and any complaint needs to be filed at their own Citizen Service office.” These were the words of the district attorney who saw me in Holguin, after I asked lots of questions and got very few answers, with faltering words always, in clear bias or complicity.
The worst thing I was told is that the district attorney is not even obliged to see me or give me a response, as they weren’t informed about my complaint for having my belongings seized during a home search, without there being charges that justify the seizure (which hasn’t been declared either), by Mayari’s municipal MININT. Complaints against procedures linked to State Security are dealt with at the provincial capital’s office, and mine doesn’t appear.
After my release, having been imprisoned at the Pedernales State Security correctional institution in Holguin for 72 hours, I immediately went to the Attorney General’s main office in Mayari. As my friend Jose Antonio Herrera Torres, who was also wronged just as I was, had filed a complaint beforehand and had mentioned my name in the recording. The District Attorney didn’t want to open up another process that was so similar in nature and linked to myself, against my independent journalism.
She filed them both as one and only had to sign a document to say I had been seen. She did this even though I insisted that my complaint be dealt with separately, independently. But, she claimed that it would be dealt with better and better understood in this way. However, when two months had passed (which is the time limit for legal decisions to be made according to the District Attorney), I was told, in Holguin, that my complaint “was never communicated to them”.
I also found out that this process is just pure theater anyhow, that they don’t have any legal authority to force MININT to return our belongings even though there isn’t a legal procedure against us which involves these objects; that we can’t get a lawyer because they don’t mediate legal proceedings and can’t do much; that only MININT could process another superfluous complaint of this type at their own citizen service office.
As I myself have confirmed that the law does not exist, only abuses of power and illegal immunity; I decided not to complain anymore as I believe it to be useless and tiresome. Although I never went to the District Attorney’s office because I believe in Cuba’s legal system, I went out of pure civility and because of a fundamental sense of justice, which didn’t allow me to sit down quietly while my most basic human rights were stamped all over.
I am convinced that Cuba needs to change now more than ever and that we are going to have to rebuild almost all of it in this process. There are far too many flaws and injustices!