Thursday, December 10, 2009

Human Rights

I didn’t want to write today, not knowing how to start a post about the tenth of December. I don’t know how to express, in this blog, that human rights have lost their meaning in my country. We have forgotten everything implicit in these two words and we are left with what experience has knocked into us year after year: fear and paranoia.

I ended up thinking that a priori those are the only two rights we have left. Of all the others that could exist, half have been forgotten and the others banned, with amounts to about the same thing.

When I go out in the street and see those who in some way exercise their little bit of power—officials, police, bureaucrats, doctors, teachers, journalists—and see them trample the rights of their fellow citizens and even their own rights at times, I wonder if they know what they’re doing, if they have a conscience. Maybe my theory is naïve, but I sense that after 50 years of absolutism we have completely forgotten the meaning of things like The Rule of Law, Justice, Human Rights. They sound like science fiction… Right to what?

So, for most of my neighbors this is a morning like any other, some of my friends are harassed by the police, others visited by State Security, with any luck none will be beaten for taking an photo in the wrong place, the Festival of Cinema will run its course and no one will ask themselves why, to see a movie at the Chaplin theater, they have to pass through a military cordon.


marc said...

You are the sane one and your world has lost it. But you are the sane one.

MARIA said...

thanks, for writing!
Do not loose a chance to write us!!
kep it going.

Anonymous said...

All the best to you!!!

Humberto Capiro said...

THESE ARE THE TOP 5 COUNTRIES JAILING JOURNALISTS! RECOGNIZE A CARIBBEAN ISLAND? China: 24 Iran: 23 Cuba: 22 Eritrea: 19 This list includes 22 journalists jailed in Cuba with a brief story of their case.
COMMITEE TO PROTECT JOURNALISTS (CPJ) finds jump in imprisonments At least 136 journalists all over the world are now in jail, a nine percent increase over 2008. CPJ's census of imprisoned journalists shows that freelancers and online journalists are increasingly vulnerable.

Humberto Capiro said...

GUARDIAN UK ARTICLE:Castro supporters clash with Cuban dissidents on human rights marches
Pro-government groups target relatives calling for liberty of Cuban political prisoners

"Hundreds of government supporters have jostled and jeered Cuban dissidents who staged two small marches in Havana to mark Human Rights Day.

The crowds, who chanted pro-Castro slogans, also targeted a British diplomat who attended the smaller of the two marches as an observer, surrounding and banging on his car until police intervened.

The incidents happened yesterday after a 30-strong group of female relatives of political prisoners ‑ known as "the ladies in white" ‑ marched through the capital chanting "liberty". They carried flowers, Cuban flags and copies of the universal declaration of human rights.

A crowd of about 250 people surrounded them and shouted "traitors" and "the street belongs to Fidel", a reference to the communist leader who ceded power last year to his brother Raul.

"How can it be possible that they won't let us walk in the streets on this day?" Melba Santana Ariz, whose husband has been held as a political prisoner since 2003, told Reuters. "There are no human rights here.""

Humberto Capiro said...

NEW YORK TIMES: Cuba Detains a U.S. Contractor

HAVANA — A United States government contract worker, who was distributing cellphones, laptops and other communications equipment in Cuba on behalf of the Obama administration, has been detained by the authorities here, American officials said Friday.

Cuba has allowed more citizens than ever to buy cellphones and computers, but even the limited access to digital technology that is available has created problems for the government. Cuban officials have shown particular concern about Yoani Sánchez, a prominent government critic who keeps in touch with thousands of followers with a blog and a Twitter account.

Recently, the Cuban government denied Ms. Sánchez a visa to accept a prestigious journalism award in New York. President Obama has also made a guest appearance on her blog, sending written answers to questions she submitted to him.

Humberto Capiro said...

WASHINGTON POST ARTICLE: U.S. government contractor arrested by Cuban officials

"Consular officers with the U.S. Interest Section in Havana are seeking access to the detainee, who was arrested Dec. 5. The specific charges have not been made public, though under Cuban law, a Cuban citizen or a foreign visitor can be arrested for nearly anything under the claim of "dangerousness."
All so-called counter-revolutionary activities, which include mild protests and critical writings, carry the risk of arrest. Anti-government graffiti and speech are considered serious crimes.

Cuba has a fledging blogging community, led by the popular commentator Yoani Sánchez, who often writes about how she and her husband are followed and harassed by government agents. Sánchez has repeatedly applied for permission to leave the country to accept awards but has been denied permission. "

""The arrest and detention are clearly wrong. An activity that in any other open society would be legal -- giving away free cellphones -- is in Cuba a crime," said Jose Miguel Vivanco, director of the Americas program of the group Human Rights Watch, which recently issued a tough report on freedoms in Cuba called "New Castro, Same Cuba," a reference to the installation of Raul Castro as the leader of the country to replace his ailing older brother Fidel. "