In a letter to all member states of the United Nations, 106 representatives of Cuba’s civil society call on them to not support Cuba’s reelection to the UN's Human Right's Council. The Cubans claim its government does not meet minimum requirements for membership because it has failed to meet its human rights pledges. The Cubans also cite the government for its continued violation of most provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
On May 12 the UN General Assembly will hold its annual elections for a third of the membership of the Human Rights Council. Eighteen of the 47 members will be chosen individually and by secret ballot for a three-year term based on geographical distribution among five regional groups. Cuba is up for re-election.
The signatories, from all over Cuba, include leaders of human rights and civic groups, independent journalists and librarians as well as current and former political prisoners. They cite laws that deny Cuban citizens basic civil, political, and economic rights including the right to self determination. They also enumerate restrictions on freedom of expression, association, assembly, information, press, work, movement, private property, access to the means of production, and freedom to leave the country. Their listing of violations committed by the state includes the extrajudicial assassination of citizens attempting to flee the country and dozens of deaths a year that result from inhumane prison conditions.
They argue that the Cuban government’s continued membership in the Council would constitute an endorsement of its abusive practices that would rob that intergovernmental body of needed credibility.