Desde Dentro de Cuba.
Distribuido por Cuba Free Press, Inc. - http://www.cubafreepress.org
THOUGHTS OF A PRISONER ABOUT THE ANNIVERSARY OF HUMAN RIGHTS By Marvin Hernández Monzón, Cuba Free Press
CIENFUEGOS - From his cell in the prison known as Ariza, Vladimiro Roca Antúnez, son of one of the founders of Cuba's Communist Party and secretary general of the Social Democratic Party, penned the following article, "About a great arrival," dated November 13, for Cuba Free Press:
The proximity of the 50th anniversary of the promulgation of the Declaration of Human Rights and articles published by the government have given me the appetite to write some ideas on these important issues.
The importance of the anniversary can be seen in the way in which the press in Cuba has been publishing articles about it. The force that this declaration exerts on the Cuban government, even today, helps us realize its importance.
There are many kinds of official statements made by totalitarian governments, indicating that the most important rights are: The right to life plus the collective rights of people, like the right to development, the right to medical assistance (public health) and the right to education. Such ideas are based on the power a government has over its civil society.
With such opinions these governments try to cover their constant violations of rights, mainly by suggesting that the collective rights of the individuals are foremost. This brings about a major judicial contradiction and involves immense word games to deform the truth, because how can you talk about collective rights if individual rights are not respected?
This is one of the procedures that such governments use to violate individual rights and mock the international organizations seeking to watch the violations and verify and maybe stop them. In general, the most basic rights are those of the individual because the individual is the primary unit and, with the family, forms the fundamental building blocks of all human societies.
The civil society is composed of different concrete individuals with particular interests who join together because of mutual interests and characteristics. To put the collective rights ahead of individual rights is a form that authoritarian and totalitarian governments use to impose their plans and wishes on the civil society. Such impositions usually are not agreeable to the majority.
Let's further examine some of these ideas. How can we talk about rights in the development of a country in which citizens are not permitted to invest their resources in the economy, although foreigners are permitted to do so? Because of this arbitrary law, most people are kept at a living standard much lower than if they were permitted to have the same rights as foreigners.
How can we talk about health rights if the people can not choose the medical institution of their liking or the doctors they want to see for their treatment?
How can we talk about the right to education if the family does not have the right to choose the type of school and education the parents want for their children?
How can we talk about the dignity of a nation if there is not respect for the dignity of every member of that society?
How can we talk about popular sovereignty if the individual rights of citizens to free speech, assembly and association are not respected?
How can we talk about auto-determination in a nation if it does not permit its citizens to freely manifest their opinions in the news media about their system of government, the actions the government takes or the capacity of the people who are governing the nation?
How can we talk about democracy if the government offers to foreigners the goods and services that are denied to its own citizens, because of a decision by one person or various people to violate the rights of citizens that are recognized in the Constitution?
The honest, objective and worthwhile answers to these questions will put into a correct perspective the importance and force of the rights under the Universal Declaration and the necessity that we continue our fight for their defense. Its application should be complete and without restrictions in every country, so as to guarantee the complete development of the human being and to help obtain peace , fraternity and solidarity in this world.
Marvin Hernández Monzón, Cuba Free Press
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