Monday, September 26, 2011

Solidarity with the Cuban Law Association / Miriam Celaya

Solidarity with the Cuban Law Association / Miriam Celaya
Miriam Celaya, Translator: Norma Whiting

Though my regular readers know I don't usually publish work that I have
not written myself, I decided to publish, as an exception, an article
from attorney Wilfredo Vallín Almeida, president of the Cuban Law
Association (AJC), my friend and traveling companion. The decision
reflects the importance of this partnership for its work in support of
the rights of Cubans and the unique and valuable efforts of such a
meaningful undertaking in a country lacking in freedom and
civic-mindedness. The work of this group of lawyers is as necessary to
Cubans as it is dangerous to authorities, hence the official interest in
sabotaging its work and trying to distort the nature of the organization
and the morale of its members.

Readers can get more information about these events in the forums of the
Association, where a series of six works by attorney Mr. Vallín will be
published starting today.

I urge readers to follow the posts, since the organization is currently
awaiting an answer regarding its application for legalization, and it is
the only organization that has filed a legal complaint against the
ministration of justice in Cuba for that cause, creating a precedent
hitherto unheard of in the history of civic resistance in Cuba in half a
century of dictatorship.

Thanks and a big hug,
Miriam Celaya

Disrespect and Right of Reply

Wilfredo Vallín Almeida

This past September 12th, two lawyers from the Cuban Law Association
(AJC) in the province of Artemisa got a subpoena signed by
sub-Lieutenant Javier Rebozo Pérez to appear before him at the Alquízar
State Security Department the next day.

The lawyers of the AJC decided to attend though the first violation was
already included in said citation, -this is something we're used to
about the political police- and because neither complied with Article 86
paragraph 3 of the Criminal Procedure Act (they don't specify the
subpoena's subject), and were, therefore, null and void.

Although they were each "interviewed" separately, the points addressed
by the officers in attendance at the meeting can be summarized as follows:

Reasons for the presence of such persons in the Cuban Law Association.
Ambiguity regarding the aims pursued by the AJC.
Counterrevolutionary character of the President of the Organization.
Attorney Wilfredo Vallín's relationship with known figures of the
opposition to the current Cuban government.
Source of the economic resources that the AJC seems to have access to.
Discredit which the Organization will shortly be subjected to
through the national media of mass communication.

With the right to reply that any human being should have anywhere and
against anything deemed insulting to his dignity, we will answer, one by
one, the above points, but in our own way, that is, without hiding our
identity behind assumed names, without hiding anything (since there is
nothing to hide), and for anyone who wants to know, especially when it
comes to our fellow citizens.

We will start with something that was not listed above, but one we
consider essential to address. We will respond because, in the face of
slander, one cannot remain silent, but –this must be made clear- the Law
Association does not recognize that the Cuban State Security Department
has any jurisdiction in this matter.

And we don't recognize its jurisdiction here because:

From the beginning of its establishment, the AJC took on the task,
to be respectful observers of the tenets of those laws, and to conduct
ourselves ethically before the Registry of Associations, The Ministry of
Justice, and the national courts that have to do with the ADMINISTRATIVE
PROCESS that, ACCORDING TO THE LAW, we have followed to date.
Up to the time I am writing this, we have not received from any of
those involved as counterparties, (those we do recognize as bearing the
title of AUTHORITIES, and not the mere agents of the same), any
expression, in any form, disqualifying of our actions.
The decision of the highest organ imparting justice in the country,
the Supreme Court, which acts in our power, recognizes the right of
citizens (and therefore ours) to peaceful association, provided that the
legally required formalities are followed. We find it hard to admit that
the State Security Department is ignorant of this.
In our view, the intervention of the political police in a
completely legal process that develops under the laws established by the
institutions authorized to do so, in the hands of authorities competent
to decide, is, first and foremost, a lack of respect for the nation's
judiciary powers, and the denial of basic citizenship rights we
supposedly enjoy.

The shortage of space will result in us having to replicate the rest of
the points made at the beginning in the few next AJC blog posts and in
those friendly publications that have offered to publish this.

Just one last thing for now: The AJC has a president with a well-known
name by those who do not seem to even trust their courts. There is no
need to call lesser members. You can call him, and he will be sure to
respond without the need for a subpoena.

Translated by Norma Whiting

September 19 2011

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