Feb 3, 2020 — OAS Cataloging-in Publication Data. Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. The situation of human rights in Cuba : Approved by the Inter
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OAS Cataloging -in Publication Data Inter -American Commission on Human Rights. The situation of human rights in Cuba : Approved by the Inter -American Commission on Human Rights on February 3, 2020. v. ; cm. (OAS. Official records ; OEA/Ser.L/V/II) ISBN 978 -0-8270 -6985 -5 1. Human rights –Cuba. 2. Civil rights –Cuba. I. Title. II. Series. OEA/Ser.L/V/II Doc.2/20

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INTER -AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS Members Esmeralda Arosemena Bernal de Troitiño Joel Hernández García Antonia Urrejola Margarette May Macaulay Flávia Piovesan Julissa Mantilla Falcón Edgar Stuardo Ralón Orellana Executive Secretary Paulo Abrão Chief of Staff of the Executive Secretariat of the IACHR Fernanda Dos Anjos Assistant Executive Secretary for Monitoring, Promotion and Technical Cooperation María Claudia Pulido Assistant Executive Secretary for Cases and Petitions Marisol Blanchard In collaboration with: Edison Lanza, Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Soledad García Mu ñoz, Special Rapporteur on Economic, Social, Cultural, and Environmental Rights (ESCER)

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INDEX EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 9 CHAPTER 1 | INTRODUCTION 17 A. Background, Scope, and Purpose of the Report 17 B. Methodology and Structure of the Report 18 C. Situation of Cuba in relation to the Organization of American States 20 D. Cuba’s Relationship with the Inter -American Commission on Human Rights 21 CHAPTER 2 | THE UNITED STATES™ ECONOMIC EMBARGO 25 CHAPTER 3 | THE 2019 CONSTITUTION 33 A. The preliminary draft Constitution and Popular Consultation 33 B. Referendum and Proclamation of the Constitution 36 C. The Contents of the New Constitution 38 CHAPTER 4 | THE INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK OF THE STATE 45 A. The Communist Party Of Cuba, The Young Communist League, And Mass Organizations 45 B. Foundations of the State and Branches of Government 47 C. Administration of Justice 49 D. Effective access to Justice 52 CHAPTER 5 | REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY AND POLITICAL RIGHTS 57 A. Representative democracy: Absence of Essential Elements 58 B. Political Pluralism and Participation in Government 59 C. Restrictions on the Exercise of the Right to Vote 61 D. Restrictions on the Rights of Assembly and Freedom of Association , and Arbitrary Arrests to Prevent Political Participation 63 CHAPTER 6 | THE SITUATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS 71 A. Travel Restrictions 71 B. Arbitrary Arrests 73 C. Criminalization 76

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Executive Summary | 9 Inter -American Commission on Human Rights | IACHR EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 1. In this report, the Inter -American Commission on Human Rights (fiInter -American Commission,fl fiCommission ,fl or fiIACHRfl) addresses the situation of human rights in Cuba, focusing in particular on the period from 2017 to 2019. The Commission presents an overview of the characteristics of the Cuban State today, identifying the main issues of concern in the area of human rights and offering recommendations to the State. 2. Although the Government of Cuba does not currently participate in the Organization of American States and has not signed the American Convention on Human Rights, the IACHR has constantly monitored the situation of human rights in Cuba, in keeping with its mandate under the Charter of the Organization of American States (Art. 106) and the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man. 3. Commission reaffirms its competence to examine the human rights situation in Cuba. The understanding of the Commission is that the exclusion from the inter -American system occurred with respect to the Government of Cuba, not the State. The State of Cuba is party to international instruments on human rights in the Hemisphere, such as the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man and the Charter of the Organization of American States; it also signed resolution VIII of the Fifth Meeting of Consultat ion of Ministers of Foreign Affairs (Santiago, Chile, 1959), which established that the Inter -American Commission on Human Rights is ficharged with furthering respect for such rights.fl Therefore, the international obligations contracted by the State of Cuba have legitimized the competence of the IACHR. Furthermore, with respect to the States that have not ratified the American Convention on Human Rights, the States conferred on the Commission the power fito pay particular attention to the observance of the hu man rights referred to in Articles I, II, III, IV, XVIII, XXV and XXVI of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man,fl as established in Article 20(a) of the Statute of the IACHR. In this sense, it is incumbent on the IACHR to monitor human r ights in Cuba. In addition, the Commission duly notifies the representatives of the Cuban State of each of the actions that should be brought to its attention, thereby respecting its right of defense. 4. The Commission has monitored the human rights situatio n in Cuba through its various protection mechanisms. Since 1960, the IACHR has published seven country reports: five on the human rights situation in Cuba and two on political prisoners and their families. Cuba has featured in Chapter IV.B of the annual report of the IACHR almost every year since 1985. In addition, the IACHR processes requests for precautionary measures and individual petitions

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10 | The Situation of Human Rights in Cuba Organization of American States | OAS submitted by Cubans, as well as issuing press releases on the human rights situation on the island. 5. Through this report, the Inter -American Commission on Human Rights deepens its monitoring of the human rights situation in Cuba in this time of change.The Commission has yet to receive consent from the Cuban State for its first visit to the island, which m akes it difficult to obtain comprehensive information. Nevertheless, the report draws on open sources and takes into account both the official press and the press that expresses political opposition to the Cuban Government. It also takes into account inves tigations and reports from different journalistic sources, international organizations, and local civil society. 6. In addition, a particularly relevant component of the report are interviews with Cuban people who live or have lived on the island at some poi nt in the last three years. Through accounts of individual experiences, the interviews provide an overall description of human rights situations. Thus, they provide a human narrative of events that took place during those years, as well as of perceptions and experiences in relation to the State and the guarantee of rights. Faced with the impossibility of visiting Cuba, the IACHR listens to the voices of Cubans and includes them in its examination of the situation in the country. In all, the Commission condu cted 55 interviews with activists, human rights defenders, regime opponents, independent journalists, and victims of human rights violations, as well as members of the Cuban diaspora who maintain direct contact and ties with the country’s population and th e Cuban community. In order to carry out this data collection, semi -structured interviews were conducted using a standard instrument. 7. The rep ort consists of ten chapters: (I ) Introduction; ( II) The United States™ Economic Embargo; ( III) The Constitution of 2019; ( IV) The Institut ional Framework of the State; (V ) Representative Democracy and Political Rights; ( VI ) Situation of Human Rights Defenders; ( VII ) Freedom of Expression; ( VIII ) Economic, Social, Cultural and Environmental Rights; ( IX) Situation of Hu man Rights of Other Population Groups; and (X ) Conclusions and Recommendations. It is worth noting that in Chapter IX, the IACHR analyzes issues related to people of African descent, women, members of the LGBTI community, children and adolescents, persons with disabilities, people deprived of their liberty, and migrants. 8. In the introductory chapter , the Commission sets out some technical aspects of methodology and presents the situation of Cuba in relation to the Organization of American States and, in par ticular, to the Inter -American Commission on Human Rights. In the latter section, the IACHR reaffirms its competence to monitor the human rights situation on the island, based on its mandate. 9. In the chapter on the economic blockade by the United States o f America , the IACHR, consistent with its previous pronouncements, reiterates the importance of ending the U.S. economic embargo of Cuba in order to ensure human rights that are impaired as a consequence of it.

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