Ley Mordaza – Gag Law
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    Justice / Rafael León Rodríguez

    Rafael León Rodríguez, Translator: Unstated

    Elias Carranza. From adelante.cu

    Dr. Elias Carranza, Director of the United Nations Latin American

    Institute for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders,

    shocked us when he said that Cuba is the safest country in the region,

    during his Keynote Address at the Sixth International Meeting on Justice

    and Law held at the end of May in Havana. To imagine how he arrived at

    that conclusion, when the official information on this subject has been

    treated as confidential during the last fifty years, is a

    para-psychological exercise.

    Cuba is a singularity in America, making it difficult to compare it with

    any other country in the hemisphere. About twenty percent of its current

    population has been forced to emigrate to other lands, forced by an

    authoritarian regime that lasted over half a century. The fear,

    instilled by the powers-that-be, has been and is such that it has become

    innate in society. The determination to leave the country at any cost

    remains an important priority among some social groups, mainly young people.

    Despair, indolence and corruption have been enthroned in the society

    facing an exhausted bankrupt system with no sign of real political and

    social changes. At best, Cuba is a safe country for foreigners who visit

    us, but dangerous for Cubans who reject the undemocratic regime that

    holds real power.

    This event overlapped with the presentation of a report on the issue of

    torture, before the United Nations committee on that subject meeting in

    Geneva, Switzerland, from a delegation of the Cuban government. Cuba, as

    a party to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhumane and

    Degrading Treatment, presented its report on the government system of

    prisons, the delivery and administration of justice, and the rights of

    the detained and ethics of the public system of order, among other things.

    The head of the Island's delegation, the Deputy Attorney General,

    asserted that, "In Cuba there is not nor will there be space for

    impunity." He gave figures of complaints from the population from 2007

    to 2011, in which there were 263 charges of bad treatment received in

    penitentiaries, which led to proceedings against 46 corrections agents.

    He also spoke of the blockade, of those who seek to destroy the

    country's internal order, and of those in service to a foreign power.

    Moreover, the newspaper Granma, surprisingly, published at that time,

    that there are 57,337 prisoners in the Cuban archipelago.

    It's always good news to know that, on issues as sensitive and criminal

    justice, the authorities are taking action and realizing concrete

    results. In the same way it's striking to see the publication of data

    that, up to know, has been a State secret.

    But from there to argue that, "In Cuba the authentic defenders of human

    rights are protected," and that "No one in our country has been

    persecuted or sanctioned for exercising their rights, including those of

    free expression and association," is a joke in very bad taste.

    We have to wonder why there are hundreds of arbitrary detentions for

    short periods, which in the present year alone have totaled more than

    2,400. Or why there is the Law 88 — called "the Gag Law" — that serves

    to suppress any activity considered controversial to the power of the

    Cuban dictatorial authorities. Or the crime of "dangerous criminality,"

    occasionally applied by the repressive entities. Or the death penalty,

    which continues to hang over society because it has been suspended but

    not abolished. All this without digging into the most recent past or

    going back to the origins of the so-called "Marxist-Leninist

    Revolutionary Cuban Process."

    Ignacio Agramonte taught us that justification prostitute ideas and the

    Holy Father John Paul II said:

    "This does not mean forgetting past events; it means re-examining

    them with a new attitude and learning precisely from the experience of

    suffering that only love can build up, whereas hatred produces

    devastation and ruin."

    So, why doesn't the Cuban government take the positive step,

    transcendent, out of respect and consideration of the people and ratify

    and implement the United Nations' International Covenants on Civil and

    Political Rights and on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights? This would

    undoubtedly be a perfect opportunity to start the real re-foundation of

    the new society and the rule of law in the Nation and would prevent the

    ancient governmental practice of justifying that which has no

    justification: oppression.

    June 30 2012



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