Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Specter of the Covenants / Cuban Law Association, Wilfredo Vallin Almeida

The Specter of the Covenants / Cuban Law Association, Wilfredo Vallin
Cuban Law Association, Translator: Unstated, Wilfredo Vallin Almeida

"A specter is haunting Europe: it is the specter of communism," said
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in the Communist Manifesto.

Over a century later, when he was the Foreign Minister and the best
interpreter of the thinking of the Comandante en Jefe, Felipe Perez
Roque appeared in photo in the newspaper Juventud Rebelde (Rebel Youth)
on February 28, 2008, shaking hands with Mr. Ban Ki Mon, Secretary
General of the United Nations (UN).

The snapshot was taken on the occasion of the signing by the Cuban
foreign minister two Covenants on Human Rights UN documents that had
been created by this international organization in 1966 and enacted in
1976, that is ten years later.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights UN 1948, notwithstanding the
overwhelming moral burden it entails, is only a recommendation that
governments can adopt or not, without it being binding on them.

Precisely because of its non-compulsory status (or non-binding, as is
customary to say in the language of international law), the UN
implemented a posteriori those Covenants that do have that character,
detailing the Declaration in two documents, one on Civil Rights and
Political (or first generation) and one on Economic, Social and Cultural
Rights (or second generation).

There are several questions that immediately come to mind when analyzing
this event of more than four years ago, namely:

- Why the Cuban government, which was already in power in 1976, would
take 32 years to sign documents so important for any country on earth?

- Why Cuban citizens have not received any explanation of the reasons
for this signing?

- Why have the content of these covenants never been communicated to Cubans?

- What would be the implications for all of us if these legal
instruments were ratified?

- Why are these agreements, signed and dated in "secrecy," now being
criticized by the current authorities in the country?

The problem is that, right now, we are continuing to face the
generalized crisis that we again see in Cuba — and that appears to have
no end — without any deep and serious solutions from the government.

The outraged are not only in Europe, confronting Wall Street, or in Arab
countries. A group of citizens from Cuban civil society who have called
for the ratification the UN Covenants, signed by the former foreign
minister in the name of the people of Cuba, are exactly that… Outraged.

Specters have always existed throughout history. Yesterday in Europe it
was communism. Today in Cuba a new specter is beginning to move, too
terrifying for some: the Human Rights Covenants of the United Nations.

From Diario de Cuba

15 June 2012

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