Ley Mordaza – Gag Law
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    Forum for Rights and Freedoms, Declaration, VII Summit of the Americas

    Forum for Rights and Freedoms, Declaration, VII Summit of the Americas
    Posted on April 8, 2015

    Forum for Rights and Freedoms: Declaration
    VII Summit of the Americas
    April 2015

    Violations of fundamental rights in Cuba are enshrined in the current
    legal system. The full exercise of these fundamental rights is
    considered directly opposed to the interests “of the Cuban people in
    building socialism and communism.”

    The so-called constitution establishes the ownership and control of the
    State and the Communist Party over the communication media and mass
    distribution. The Law of Protection of National Independence and the
    Economy of Cuba, known as the Gag Law, sets sentences of up to 20 years
    for those who attempt to violate this provision.

    Trade unions, civic, professional and human rights associations that do
    not profess the official ideology are not recognized. Those who attempt
    to organize meetings or found independent associations can suffer
    imprisonment, dismissal, harassment or intimidation. Thousands of Cubans
    have paid, even with their lives, for trying to exercise their freedoms.

    The Penal Code defines “pre-criminal dangerousness” and applies it
    according to the standards of a supposed “socialist morality.” Arrests,
    imprisonments and beatings of human rights activists, political
    opponents and independent journalists are recurring.

    The use of violence on the part of paralegal groups as a form of social
    control has been one of the most abhorrent practices of the Castro
    regime. This deplorable experience has been exported to other Latin
    American nations, as was the case of the Dignity Brigades 25 years ago
    in Panama, and the so-called Collectives in Venezuela today.

    Economic rights are also violated and the entrepreneurial capacity and
    character of Cubans struggling against a regime obsessed with control.
    Corruption, taxes that smother micro-businesses, total State control
    over imports and exports, the absence of property rights, make up a part
    of our scenario. The economic situation is dire.

    The regime has ratified dozens of international treaties on the issue of
    Human Rights, although it refuses to ratify the Human Rights Covenants
    of the United Nations. However, the majority of these standards have not
    been applied to the legal system, becoming a dead letter. The Castro
    regime continues to hide fugitives from justice for common crimes and
    terrorism. It violates international norms as in in the case of the
    recent arms trafficking and maintains a “complicit silence” about the
    trafficking of Cubans to the United States through third countries.

    We do not accept the mutation of a neo-Castro authoritarianism, where
    the old elite transfers power to its political and family heirs.

    The sovereignty of our country does not rest on a despotic and corrupt
    regime. It rests in the people and, in particular, in those of us who
    fight for a true democracy: with political pluralism, an independent
    judiciary, freedom and human rights. Where we Cubans can define our
    destinies through consultations and free and transparent electoral
    processes, as set out in important opposition documents such as: The
    Agreement for Democracy, or the Forum for Rights and Freedoms Roadmap.

    No society can be viable if it oppresses the human being. To accept that
    there are different interpretations of our freedoms constitutes a tactic
    that validates authoritarianism as an alternate form to democracy on our
    continent.

    We appeal to the solidarity and the just support of the entire regional
    and international community to initiate the urgent path to the
    democratization of our nation.

    Source: Forum for Rights and Freedoms, Declaration, VII Summit of the
    Americas | Translating Cuba –
    http://translatingcuba.com/forum-for-rights-and-freedoms-declaration-to-7th-americas-summit/

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