Cuba, National Report, Universal Periodic Review, Human Rights Council

Cuba presents Report to the Universal Periodic Review of the Human Rights Council

Intervention by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, at the presentation of the National Report of Cuba to the fourth cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the Human Rights Council (CDH)

Madam Vice President, Excellencies, distinguished Delegates:

I bring from Cuba a message of solidarity and support for the Palestinian people . Indiscriminate attacks against civilians and United Nations workers; The bombings of hospitals, ambulances and schools and the massive destruction of homes and vital infrastructure constitute collective punishment and serious violations of International Humanitarian Law.

We stand in solidarity with all the victims and share the pain of the Arab and Hebrew communities of Cuba.

They are war crimes and crimes against humanity that must be stopped now. The international community must force an immediate ceasefire, in the face of the veto that paralyzes the Security Council and guarantees criminal impunity for genocide.

Madam Vice President:

Cuba is appearing for the fourth time at the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the Human Rights Council.

The national report that we present today is the result of a broad and participatory process of consultations with state institutions and organizations of our civil society.

Of 226 recommendations accepted in the previous UPR, 215, 95%, have been fulfilled. We are advancing in the implementation processes of the remaining 11.

Since the previous Review in 2018, Cuba has taken significant steps in updating its legal and institutional framework for the realization of all human rights for all Cubans.

Through a popular referendum, the Cuban people adopted, in 2019, a new Constitution, which expands the catalog of rights and the guarantees for their effective exercise. A 90% participation rate was recorded, with 86% supporting the constitutional text.

In the last 4 years, 129 higher-ranking legal regulations have been approved, an unprecedented fact in Cuba in such a short time.

Among them, I want to highlight the Families Code, one of the norms that has had the most significance in the social and legal history of the country. It is a modern, comprehensive and advanced law.

Confronting all forms of discrimination has been and will continue to be a priority of the Cuban State.

In November 2019, the National Program against Racism and Racial Discrimination was approved, as an expression of the country's political will to eradicate any vestige of this phenomenon.

Since 2021, Cuba has a National Program for the Advancement of Women and a Comprehensive Strategy for Prevention and Attention to Gender Violence and in the Family Setting.

Women occupy 56% of the seats in the National Assembly of People's Power, 84% of the positions in the judicial system and are eight out of ten Prosecutors in the country.

In 2021, the National Commission for the application of the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was established and, in June 2023, the Cuban Association of People with Intellectual Disabilities was created.

Just one month later, the national parliament adopted the Comprehensive Policy for Attention to Children, Adolescents and Youth in Cuba.

Significant progress has been made in criminal legislation, both procedural and substantive, and due process has been reinforced.

Since 2018, we have submitted comprehensive reports to four treaty bodies, those relating to racial discrimination, persons with disabilities, torture and children's rights.

Various cooperation actions have been developed with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and, last July, a productive meeting was held between the President of the Republic, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, with the High Commissioner, His Excellency. Mr. Volker Türk.

In May 2023, the Special Rapporteur on the Impact of Unilateral Coercive Measures on the enjoyment of Human Rights, carried out a fruitful academic visit to Cuba.

We also had the opportunity to receive in our country, last June, the Vice President of the Committee on the Rights of the Child.

Madam Vice President:

The economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States against Cuba constitutes a massive, flagrant and systematic violation of the human rights of Cubans.

Since the previous Review, the blockade was significantly tightened with the application of more than 240 additional unilateral coercive measures and the fraudulent inclusion of Cuba in the spurious list of countries sponsoring terrorism prepared by the US State Department.

From April 2018 to February 2023, the blockade has caused damages to Cuba estimated, conservatively, in the order of 24.7 billion dollars.

At current prices, the accumulated effects of more than 60 years of blockade exceed 159 billion dollars.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, sanctions against Cuba, unlike the rest, were deliberately tightened to extreme levels. It was prevented from purchasing lung ventilators from subsidiaries of American companies; and parts, pieces and supplies for the industrial production of effective Cuban vaccines; The acquisition of medicinal oxygen in third countries was hindered and the requirement for a specific license to do so from the United States was demonstrated.

Just 13 days ago, the United Nations General Assembly demanded by an overwhelming majority the cessation of this policy that causes direct and indirect damage; suffering, deprivation and anxiety to Cuban families , and is the fundamental cause of the scarce supply of medicines and food, even for the regulated basic basket, which is insufficient, but everyone receives it highly subsidized. It is the main factor in exorbitant prices, currency devaluation and wages; in the overwhelming power cuts; in limitations in essential services, with negative effects also on health and education

In addition to the economic war, Cuba has been and is the victim of sustained media and communication campaigns, aimed at projecting an absolutely false image regarding human rights, to subvert the constitutional order of the Nation.

This modus operandi was implemented, with particular intensity, in 2021, when an attempt was made to force a destabilizing situation, combining extreme measures of economic asphyxiation with sophisticated actions of manipulation, disinformation and unconventional or cognitive warfare operations, generated from US territory and technological platforms.

Madam Vice President:

Despite Cuba's progress since the previous Review, we have dissatisfactions and we strive to improve, promote “full dignity” and “all justice” and face current challenges.

Cuba will continue to perfect its institutional and legal framework for the protection of human rights and will continue to promote the construction of an increasingly free, democratic, fair, supportive, participatory and socialist society.

As newly re-elected members of this Council, we will give our greatest and unwavering contribution to international dialogue and cooperation in these matters.

In a sovereign manner, we will advance cooperation with United Nations human rights mechanisms, based on respectful and constructive dialogue.

The international community can always count on Cuba to defend peace and multilateralism and promote the realization of all human rights for all.

Thank you so much

(Text and photo: Cubaminrex)

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