Human Rights Absent from the Eighth Congress of the Cuban Communist Party

Human Rights Absent from the Eighth Congress of the Cuban Communist Party

Cuba, English, Race and Equality
Washington, D.C.; April 27th, 2021.- The eighth Congress of the Cuban Communist Party, held from April 16th-19th, failed to discuss the country’s serious human rights problems or take action to address them. Independent Cuban civil society felt that the Congress was ‘more of the same,’ despite the government and official media’s efforts to declare it a success. Since the Communist Party is the county’s highest authority, the Party Congress, held every five years, invariably gives rise to speculation about changes in the country’s direction. On the first day of this year’s Congress, President Miguel Díaz-Canel tweeted that “here we refine ideas, recognize the past, and discuss the future.” At the international level, the most newsworthy element of this year’s Congress was the passing of the position of First Secretary of…
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Cuba: activists demand an adequate response to the “silent pandemic” of gender-based violence

Cuba: activists demand an adequate response to the “silent pandemic” of gender-based violence

Cuba, English, Race and Equality
Washington, D.C., April 12, 2021.- On International Women’s Day 2021 (March 8th), the Cuban government published Presidential Decree 198/2021, which inaugurated the National Program for the Advancement of Women (known by its Spanish initials, PAM). According to the decree, the PAM “forms the cornerstone in the development of pro-women policies, while furthering the advancement and development of gender equality in Cuba and the institutionalization of this right.” The decree comes as Cuban activists and civil organizations demand a law against gender-based violence in response to alarming levels of violence against women and girls on the island. So far in 2021, civil society organizations have documented 10 murders of women; civil society counted 32 women, including two girls, murdered in 2020. Cuban women’s demands On November 21, 2019, 40 women representing…
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IACHR begins formal process to determine the State of Cuba’s responsibility for human rights violations against activists

IACHR begins formal process to determine the State of Cuba’s responsibility for human rights violations against activists

Cuba, English, IACHR, Race and Equality
Washington, D.C. - April 8, 2021.- The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has agreed to process a petition presented by the International Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights (Race and Equality). In the petition, Race and Equality requested that the Commission find the State of Cuba responsible for human rights violations including arbitrary detention, unjust imprisonment, and torture against members of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) between October 2019 and April 2020. The petition lists José Daniel Ferrer García (UNPACU’s founder and leader), Fernando González Vaillant, Roilan Zarraga Ferrer, and José Pupo Chaveco as victims, documenting that the four men were detained without an arrest warrant on October 1st, 2019, in violation of both Cuban law and Cuba’s international human rights commitments.[1] Race and Equality has requested…
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Cuba: The International Community Must Demand Accountability from the Cuban Government For Its Actions and to Immediately Stop Unlawful Short-term Arbitrary Detentions, House Arrests, Forced Exile, and Smear Campaigns against Dissenting Voices

Cuba: The International Community Must Demand Accountability from the Cuban Government For Its Actions and to Immediately Stop Unlawful Short-term Arbitrary Detentions, House Arrests, Forced Exile, and Smear Campaigns against Dissenting Voices

Cuba, English, Race and Equality
In response to the aggressive acts committed by police officers in recent weeks against Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) activists on hunger strike; the beatings and arrests of members of the San Isidro Movement; the forced exile imposed on Cuban citizens, making them stateless; permanent house arrests; and smear campaigns against journalists, artists, and dissidents, the undersigned 7 organizations issue the following statement: “We are deeply concerned about the ongoing pattern of repression against critical voices which are freely expressing themselves over the current status quo in the country. We call on the international community to urgently focus on Cuba. International organizations, the foreign press, democratic governments, and embassies present in Havana must rigorously monitor systemic human rights violations, provide assistance to human rights defenders who suffer abuse, and demand…
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International Day of Trans Visibility: Honoring the struggle to protect and promote trans rights in the Americas

International Day of Trans Visibility: Honoring the struggle to protect and promote trans rights in the Americas

Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, English, LGBTI, Peru, Regional
Washington, D.C.; March 29, 2021 - On the eve of International Day of Trans Visibility (March 31), the International Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights (Race and Equality) honors the activists who work tirelessly to protect and promote the human rights of trans people in Latin America and the Caribbean. We also call upon all States to put in place laws and policies that ensure respect, recognition, and full enjoyment of rights for the region’s trans population. Sadly, for yet another year, the Day of Trans Visibility will be marked by a lack of recognition and protection for trans people in the Americas, resulting in threats, physical and verbal attacks, persecution, exclusion, and the deaths of people with diverse gender expressions and/or identities. According to the international organization Trans…
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