THE political and media campaigns against Cuba, which distort our reality, intend to discredit our country and conceal Cuba’s undeniable human rights achievements, says Cuban foreign minister Bruno Rodriguez.
Before the 3rd Cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, Rodriguez said guarantees for the exercise of human rights were a priority obligation of the State and that in Cuba every sphere of social life counts on thousands of defenders of those rights, whose work enjoyed recognition and government support.
“Cuba will continue to move forward, firmly and reassured, with the political will and determination of the Cuban people and government, to build an ever freer, more democratic, participatory just and fraternal society,” he said. “We are open to dialogue and will offer all the necessary information based on the respect and objectivity that should characterize this exercise, in which there should be no double standards or politically motivated manipulations, which we will not accept, because, as was expressed by the President of the Council of State and Ministers, Comrade Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez on April 19, ‘there is no room for a transition that ignores or destroys the legacy of so many years of struggle. In Cuba, by the decision of the people, there is only room for the continuity of that legacy with the Revolution and the founding generation, without giving up to pressures, without fear and setbacks, always defending our truths and reasons, without ever renouncing sovereignty and independence, development programs and our own dreams.’”
Rodriguez said in Cuba, every sphere of social life counted on thousands of defenders of human rights, whose work enjoyed recognition and government support.
“However, as it occurs in many other countries where the rule of law prevails, in Cuba, the legal system cannot be infringed upon or subverted to satisfy a foreign agenda that calls for a change of regime, the constitutional order and the political system that Cubans have freely chosen. Those who act this way are not worthy of being described as human rights defenders; they rather qualify as agents to the service of a foreign power, according to many western legislations,” he said.
“Despite the achievements attained by Cuba in terms of the promotion, protection and enjoyment of human rights, we have certain dissatisfactions, but we are striving to solve our difficulties. Our people, who have made the greatest sacrifices and run the highest risks to preserve its sovereignty, deserve efficient institutions to improve the wellbeing and quality of life and promote social justice for all. We are aware of the difficulties and deficiencies in the life of our compatriots.”
Rodriguez informed the Council that since the triumph of the Revolution led by commander-in-chief Fidel Castro Ruz, the willingness to protect human dignity, provide equal opportunities and “conquer all the justice”, had remained unchanged and unswerving.
“The attention to citizens has been equally improved by means of the expansion of the mechanisms, ways and recourses in the hands of the population to denounce any infringement of the legal system or their rights; file claims or petitions to the competent authorities; channel up their opinions and concerns and actively participate in the adoption of government decisions,” said Rodriguez. “The protection of the right to life has continued to be the highest priority. This is ensured by recognizing the right to physical integrity and inviolability of persons; observing the guarantees of the due process and preventing anyone from being deprived of freedom except under the law and with full guarantees. Law enforcement authorities fulfill their duty in accordance with the law and are subject to rigorous control processes and popular scrutiny. There has been no impunity in the very few cases of abuses involving law enforcement agents and officials; and there are no laws or rules that could condone it. There is no sale or traffic in firearms. Homicides rates are very low, which makes Cuba one of the safest countries in the world.”
Cuba is party to 44 of the 61 international human rights instruments, making the island among the states with higher levels of ratifications.