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The Denial Of Human Rights In Cuba

1633 words - 7 pages

“If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.” (George Washington). Two hundred forty years ago, people understood that freedom of expression is the backbone of the people. If so, why is this vital right being continually withheld? Cuba has been a communist state since 1959, ruled by fascist dictators such as Fidel Castro, and Raul Castro. It has had a history of violence and Government crackdowns. Black spring of 2003 was one of the most notable, in which seventy five dissidents, including twenty nine journalists as well as human rights activists were arrested. These crackdowns are in reality, constant. The Cuban administration has the ...view middle of the document...

As stated by the Swedish president Olof Palme, “for us democracy is a question of human dignity. And human dignity is political freedom.” (Olof Palme). Olof Palme is implying that the freedom of opinion is a question of basic human rights and that it is not something the government can choose to allow or not. The dignity of an administration is derived from the level of dignity that its own citizens achieve. In the words of Helen Keller, “the best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart.” (Helen Keller). While dignity may not be tangible, it definitely can’t be obtained when people are denied their right to a voice. The autonomy of any citizen’s mind is sacred and shouldn’t be caged in. There is no morally justifiable reason for why the Cuban government would deprive their people not only of their liberties but also of their voices. In the end, the obstruction of political freedom by the Cuban administration is unjust and unforgivable.
The horrifying way that political dissidents have been abused displays the malicious nature of the Cuban regime. Nothing strikes fear into the hearts and minds of men with as much depth as the stories of those who have suffered directly. As Armando Valladares wrote, “for me, it meant 8,000 days of hunger, of systematic beatings, of hard labor, of solitary confinement and solitude, 8,000 days of struggling to prove that I was a human being, 8,000 days of proving that my spirit could triumph over exhaustion.” (Armando Valladares). What does eight thousand days mean? It means almost a full twenty two years of toiling and rotting in a prison cell for crimes that shouldn’t even be illegal. It means suffering through the excruciating pain of being assaulted, starved, worked like a slave, and confined to a tiny concrete block. In the words of Cuban journalist Normando Hernández González, “I long to forget, but cannot. To erase from my memory the murmurs of suffering, the plaintive screams of torture, the screeching bars, the unmistakable music of padlocks, the garrulous sentinels…” (Normando Hernández González). González had to endure the insanity of a Cuban prison because he wasn't allowed to criticize his government, while the rest of the N.A.U. citizens are deciding who will win the next election in their respective countries. The Cuban people don’t have a choice of government, or any political choice available to them, and they all suffer because of it. It is evident from the stories of those who have suffered this absurd conduct that the N.A.U. needs to recognize what the Cuban administration is doing is atrocious.
The extent of imprisoned political dissidents and the oppression of free expression in Cuba is staggering. Not only does restricting political freedoms adversely impact Cuban civil society, but it also affects the Cuban economy. This is due in no small part to the recent amount of jailings, “ independent human rights group that the...

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