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Female relatives of imprisoned Cuban dissidents, also known as "Ladies in White," rally outside a church in Havana.
© 2007 Reuters


The resolution establishing the UN Human Rights Council requires that Cuba “fully cooperate” with the Council and “uphold the highest standards” of human rights. As it stands, Cuba meets neither of these criteria.

Cuba’s domestic human rights record in particular falls short of the “highest standards.” Cuba remains the one country in Latin America that represses nearly all forms of political dissent. The Cuban authorities use vague and overbroad criminal laws to silence government critics; harass and arbitrarily arrest and detain dissidents and journalists; and place excessive restrictions on freedom of movement within the country.

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Record of Abuses
  • Severe restrictions on freedom of expression and assembly
  • Harassment and arbitrary arrest, detention and imprisonment of dissidents and human rights activists
  • Vague and overbroad criminal laws used to repress dissent
  • Inhumane prison conditions
  • Restrictions on freedom of movement within Cuba
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Record of non-cooperation

Cuba is required to “fully cooperate with the Council,” but has failed to fully meet this obligation.

  • As of April 2009 Cuba has two outstanding requests for visits from independent experts appointed by the Human Rights Council. When it has permitted an expert to visit, Cuba has sometimes limited access.
  • For its Universal Periodic Review in February 2009, Cuba submitted a report denying the existence of political prisoners and falsely claiming that all those serving sentences had been prosecuted with all the guarantees of due process.
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