2nd Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council: Joint statement on the Human Rights situation in Cuba by the Centrist Democrat International, Freedom House and the Transnational radical Party

Interactive dialogue – on the report of Ms. Chanet- Cuba

Delivered by John Suarez.

Thank you Mr. President

The international community and this institution have called upon the Cuban government many times, most especially this past September 18, when Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the United Nations called, from Havana during the Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement, for an end to repression in Cuba. The Cuban government in its petition to form part of this Council committed itself to respect and promote human rights in their totality. Nevertheless, the facts demonstrate the opposite.
According to independent reports, there are more than 300 political prisoners in Cuba. There are 23 journalists imprisoned for writing or stating their opinions. More than 60 human rights activists where imprisoned without trial between 2005 and 2006. dozens of families of human rights activits have been attacked in the well-known “acts of repudiation” in the past year. Repression inside prisons, especially against political prisoners, increases with each day.
More than a year has passed since a group of human rights activists, arrested on July 22 2005, have been imprisoned without trial. Among them is René Gomez Manzano, a lawyer, who recently denounced abuses to which he and other political prisoners in Nieves Morejon prison have been subject to. Just 27 kilometres from the United States Naval Base in Guantanamo, human rights are also being flagrantly violated. The political prisoners at Combinado Prison in Guantanamo, under the Cuban government’s jurisdiction, describe the atrocities committed there. Beatings, the denial of medical and religious attention, threats and attacks from criminals sent by State Security officials: these are some of the practices that led political prisoners Victor Rolando Arroyo and Felix Navarro Rodriguez to declare themselves om hunger strike at the end of 2005. madame Chanet, the Centrist Democrat International would like to know wheter, under the rules of this new Council, it is possible for a country that does not accept its authority to continue being a member.

Thank you very much.

Cuban Democratic Directorate