Ley Mordaza – Gag Law
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    Cuba: The Gag Law / Laritza Diversent

    Cuba: The Gag Law / Laritza Diversent
    Laritza Diversent, Translator: Unstated

    In the first of the two annual sessions of the National Assembly, held
    in the final days of last July, the International Relations committee
    agreed to instruct its counterpart on Constitutional and Legal Matters,
    an aggravation of the measures contained in the No. 88.

    The Gag Law, as this statutory provision is known internationally, was
    enacted by the National Assembly on February 16, 1999, in order to
    protect the independence and economy of Cuba.

    The crimes under this law, sanctioned acts which, according to the Cuban
    government, are aimed at supporting the objectives of the "Helms-Burton"
    Law and the economic blockade, disrupting internal order and liquidating
    the socialist state.

    Generally it is considered a crime to collaborate in any way with radio
    or television, newspapers, magazines or other foreign media if not
    serving as a foreign reporter accredited to the island.

    It is also considered a violation to accumulate, reproduce, disseminate
    materials considered subversive by the Cuban government or to bring them
    into the island from the United States or to provide any kind of
    information to private or public entities in this country.

    Also sanctioned is promoting, organizing, inciting or disturbing public
    order or the execution of these events, receiving or distributing
    financing, material or otherwise, from the northern country, or a third
    State that collaborates with it.

    In 9 of its 12 articles, a criminal offense is identified with penalties
    of imprisonment from 2 to 15 years and/or a fine of 3 thousand to 250
    thousand pesos. The penalty may increase to up to 20 years imprisonment,
    if the events involve two or more persons, or is performed for
    remuneration or any benefit or using illegal means.
    The penalty also increases if there the events relate to the economic
    relations of the Cuban state, or national or foreign entities, both
    state and private, or to the U.S. Government, taking action against
    these or against any of the communist leaders or their relatives.

    September 5 2011


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