Reading two press releases released by prestigious international human rights organizations on November 26, 2016 analyzing Fidel Castro's record on human rights in Cuba some glaring omissions are found in both that ignore some of the most grievous human rights violations committed by the Castro regime over the past 57 years.
|37 victims of the "13 de Marzo" tugboat massacre on 7/13/94|
Some of what was omitted
Amnesty International released a press release titled "Fidel Castro: A progressive but deeply flawed leader" and Human Rights Watch released one that read "Cuba: Fidel Castro’s Record of Repression Misguided US Embargo Provided Pretext for Abuse". Both Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International address the lack of freedom of expression, harassment, intimidation and possible prison for speaking out against the Castro government but also go out of their way to praise the dictatorship with claims that are at best questionable.
However there is no mention in either report of the political show trials that fell short of international standards that sent thousands of Cubans before firing squads or that this method of execution would continue until at least 2003. Amnesty mentions that Fidel Castro's provisional government carried out "hundreds of summary executions" in 1959 but doesn't mention that thousands more followed. There is no mention of how prisoners in the 1960s had their blood extracted prior to being placed before the firing squad. Nor is their mention that family members of the condemned had to donate blood to see their loved ones. This practice was documented by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in its 1967 Country Report on Cuba.
There is no mention of the extrajudicial execution of opposition leaders with Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas, and Harold Cepero Escalante on July 22, 2012 being two high profile examples. There is no mention of the methods of torture used by the regime against prisoners of conscience including the denial of medical care. Nor the games played by the Castro regime to invite the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture in order to get positive media coverage but then not follow through. This is a curious oversight because in the past Amnesty International has reported on these practices. There is no mention of the massacre of refugees by agents of the Castro regime for the sole crime of trying to flee Cuba although Amnesty International had reported on it in the past.
When nuance crosses the line
Amnesty International made no mention of the "abysmal prisons" as Human Rights Watch did but their Americas Director, Erika Guevara-Rosa praised the departed leader while recognizing some of his flaws as follows:
"There are few more polarising political figures than Fidel Castro, a progressive but deeply flawed leader. Access to public services such as health and education for Cubans were substantially improved by the Cuban revolution and for this, his leadership must be applauded. However, despite these achievements in areas of social policy, Fidel Castro’s 49-year reign was characterised by a ruthless suppression of freedom of expression. The state of freedom of expression in Cuba, where activists continue to face arrest and harassment for speaking out against the government, is Fidel Castro’s darkest legacy. Fidel Castro’s legacy is a tale of two worlds. The question now is what human rights will look like in a future Cuba. The lives of many depend on it.”
• There's been a ''pronounced'' departure of teachers to other jobs because of low salaries and the lack of social recognition.
• Many teachers also left their jobs because of the government's growing ideological pressures. The primary objective of education is the formation of future revolutionary communists.
• The great majority of schools lack the equipment and installations needed to provide a good education.
• High school graduates have been put to teach after only an eight-month special course. But much of the teaching now is done through educational TV channels.
|Hospital bed in Cuba under the Castro regime|
The Castro regime's healthcare claims and the dismal reality today
"He had been investigating allegations that medicine provided by the World Health Organization to fight the cholera outbreak (which began in mid-2012) was being kept at the airport instead of being distributed. Since then, he has been detained in various detention centres. He has been held at Combinado del Este prison since November 2012."