Current state of Cuba

Day after another, tormented women scream in pain and desperation cry for help following the numerous cases of torture of prisoners, but their cries fall on deaf ears. The Cuban government confines its prisoners to narrow cells with barely enough space for bed. The sanitation is poor with a hole on the ground for their wastes and the cells infested with insects and rodents. The prisoners may scream for help due to fear or intense heat but when they do that, they are injected with sedatives that keep them half drugged.

In 1999, the government of Cuba placed a suspension on the use of capital punishment. Even with this, the country still makes exceptions as a punishment to some of the lawbreakers. In 2003, for instance, three citizens were executed because they had hijacked a ferry. During the incident, two Cuban passengers and two young French female tourists were held at gunpoint. No one was harmed, although some passengers were threatened to be killed if the vessel was not given enough fuel to reach its destination. The hijackers were looking to get to Florida, United States where they would seek asylum.

The freedom of assembly is rejected in Cuba. Similarly, political revolutions are forbidden from meeting in large groups. All human rights, civil and professional unions and associations that exist in Cuba, apart from the departments under government control, are restricted from enjoying legal status. With this, individuals who belong to these associations face the risks of being intimidated, harassed or faced with criminal charges for activities that are in line with the fundamental freedoms of expression, association and assembly.

It does not end there; the authorities in Cuba only recognize a single trade union center: the Central de Trabajadores de Cuba. This trade union enjoys no independence because most of its operations and decisions are controlled by the state. The leaders are appointed by the Communist Party, meaning that those appointed have to do what their employers demand. The process of hiring a worker, who must be a member of the Communist Party, involves signing of a contract in which the worker promises to support the Communist Party no matter what it represents. Independent trade unions risk being thoroughly harassed and detained.

Tough restrictions are placed on speech and media in many ways. For instance, pornography is prohibited in a culture that is so sexually expressive. In connection, travelers are even expected to declare when passing customs whether they are bringing any forbidden materials into the country. In a nutshell, the Cuban legislature limits freedom of expression, assembly, association, press and of movement.

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