European Union Human Rights Rapporteur arrives in Cuba and civil society redoubles its complaints

"If the Cuban State does not offer guarantees of respect for human rights and precise evaluation mechanisms, the Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement between Cuba and the EU must be suspended," demanded the executive director of Justicia 11J.

Eamon Gilmore de visita en Ucrania © X / @EamonGilmore
Eamon Gilmore visiting Ukraine Photo © X / @EamonGilmore

The Rapporteur for Human Rights (HR) of theEuropean Union (EU), Eamon Gilmore, arrives this Wednesday in Cuba amid growing demands from civil society, warning of new and well-known cases of repression against political prisoners, activists and opponents of the totalitarian regime.

Among those clamoring for Gilmore's attention, the non-governmental organization (NGO)Justicia11J published an opinion article signed by its executive director,Camila Rodriguez, in which he warns him that “if he does not adopt a firm public stance on the human rights situation and in solidarity with human rights defenders, he will legitimize the Cuban regime with his visit.”

“A regime that has systematically annihilated the possibilities of organization and the desire for autonomy of civil society, has fragmented a generation of noble people, has destroyed the peace of hundreds of homes, and has exhausted, if it could even more, the hope of democracy and justice in Cuba,” described the activist.

In addition to the article, published this Wednesday in thewebsite ofInternational Amnesty, the NGO called on interested parties to a discussion “on the closure of civic space in Cuba”, which will be attended by activistsKatherine Bisquet, Marisol Pena andPedro Lopez. According to Rodríguez, "if the Cuban State does not offer guarantees of respect for human rights and precise evaluation mechanisms, the Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement between Cuba and the EU must be suspended."

For his part, theCuban Observatory of Human Rights (OCDH) He took the opportunity to make public another complaint of human rights violations in Cuba. To do this, this Wednesday he shared a video with the activist's testimonyYoanny Beltran Gamboa, denouncing that his 18-year-old son was summoned by State Security, in yet another case of harassment due to his father's activism and complaints on networks.

The activistCarolina Barrero, promoter of the platformCuba says No to the dictatorship, also wanted to present a specific case to the judgment of the EU Human Rights Rapporteur.

"Two days agoLuis Barrios Diaz “He died due to the mistreatment, lack of medical care and torture to which he was subjected by orders of State security,” said Barrero. Addressing Gilmore and her delegation, the activist told him “not to remain silent, visit the prisons and not submit to the idyllic version of reality that State Security has prepared for you.”

Calling on theCuban civil society To take advantage of Gilmore's visit to make visible the more than 1,000 political prisoners and other victims of repression, the activist pointed out that "while the world looks the other way, Cubans die in prisons, drowning in misery, the lack of freedoms and desperation."

In this sense, the activist also expressedSaily Gonzalez, who denounced the arrest this Wednesday of the activistFernando Vazquez, who was threatened by State Security so that he would not leave his home during the days that Gilmore will be in Cuba (November 22 to 25).

“Cuban activists have historically been repressed and harassed when visited by relevant figures in international politics. It is the duty of Eamon Gilmore, as the EU's human rights representative, to demand an end to the repression," he noted.

The journalist and director of the independent media also addressed Gilmore14 intervene. “Unlike other times, when information came out of the country in dribs and drabs, Gilmore has had at his disposal countless reports, testimonies and articles from the independent press that detail the magnitude of the repression we suffered,” he stated.Yoani Sanchez.

“He has also been able to meet with exiles who have told him, first-hand, about the forced exiles, the travel ban that weighs on several dissidents, the threats against the families of those convicted of the popular protests of July 11, 2021 and the twist of censorship that the new Social Communication Law represents, already approved and which will soon come into force,” added the journalist, recommending to Gilmore an itinerary to explore the horrors of the Cuban dictatorship.

The above is added to other requests made to Gilmore, such as those of the activistRosa María Payá, coordinator of the Cuba Decide platform, whichrecommended the official visit the opposition leader José Daniel Ferrer in prison; or that of the political prisoner and human rights activist, professorPedro Albert Sánchez, who expressed himself in the same sense,suggesting you visit political prisoners and their families.

Gilmore's visit will serve to “analyze the situation created before, during and after the demonstrations and arrests of 11JAs explained in May by the head of diplomacy of the European bloc,Joseph Borrell, during his visit to Havana.

What do you think?


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Ivan Leon

Graduate in journalism. Master in Diplomacy and RR.II. by the Diplomatic School of Madrid. Master in RR.II. and European Integration by the UAB.

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