Desde Dentro de Cuba.

Distribuido por Cuba Free Press, Inc. - http://www.cubafreepress.org

November 25, 1998

THOUGHTS OF AN INDEPENDENT JOURNALIST ON A HUMAN RIGHTS ANNIVERSARY By Ofelia Nardo Cruz, Cuba Free Press.

HAVANA - Yes, it is true that human beings start off needing maternalism and/or paternalism. Thus life begins without much liberty; baby humans are subject to that (m)(p)aternal rule. Yet even without realizing it, a child also asserts demands, through crying. And when it can express itself better, it still not only chooses but continues to demand. And it often wants more than it receives.

Later, even those children who are psychologically dependent usually protest to free themselves from their paternal confinement, as sweet and humanly (and humanely) authorized and organized as it might be.

So it seems the need to be free is as organic in a human being as life itself.

I was reflecting upon this as I thought about the United Nations' Universal Human Rights Declaration on its 50th anniversary.

I asked myself: "Who can think that the right to life and freedom of expression, movement, beliefs and free association can be traded for a plate of beans, a pair of shoes or a free medical exam?"

How can it be that on such an anniversary there still are nations that rule with edicts and withstand the protests of those who believe they have rights. Those who rule with edicts assume the right to dispose of human lives and liberties just as mankind disposes of the lives of domestic animals. Those who rule with edicts justify them in the name of paternalism.

Among rulers of such countries, contempt for and humiliation of their peers is a daily occurrence. They try to sow doubts about the precepts of liberty and justice in the United Nations' document so as to justify their violations of the same.

The millions of beings who are unjustly denied their rights, all children of God and human, hope that the nations who do enjoy those basic rights will not be indifferent towards them. They hope that those nations of freedom do not become accomplices of the oppressors but will side with justice.

As long as there are nations where the declaration that grants respect to individual liberties is considered subversive, the rest of the world must not be able to consider that it has accomplished those freedoms which their ancestors set out to enjoy.

The human rights in the declaration are universal and so is the obligation of the countries that signed it.

By Ofelia Nardo Cruz, Cuba Free Press.


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