Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Client-User Defenselessness

Client-User Defenselessness / Cuban Law Association, Lic. E. Javier
Hernandez H.
Cuban Law Association, E. Javier Hernandez H., Translator: Courtney Finkel

For years there has been a reality in our country that isn't exposed nor
analyzed from all angles as the suffering of citizens deserves to be: it
pertains to the defenseless state of Cuban
client-user-buyer-consumer-constituents in the face of administrative
and governmental requests, particularly when the parameters of quality,
efficient operation, or the most basic rights are not fulfilled or

We are observing in a majority of cases that come to our Association, in
addition to our becoming a last resort or "lifesaving plank in the vast
sea"; we can see inefficiency, laziness and insensitivity. The
fundamental causes of our compatriots' troubles are also the errors or
violations committed toward them by entities and officials with
impunity, sheltered by the lack of culture and discipline that would
allow administrative and judicial proceedings to be correctly appealed
and directed for the sake of restoring violated rights.

The ultimate tendency of the Organs of State Administration, as well as
their subordinates, is the refusal to respond, be it a quality parameter
claim, a complaint, a violation of rights or a breach of contract with
the main service providers, be it the Electric Company, ETECSA (mobile
phone and landlines), Aguas de la Habana (the water company),
Immigration, Customs, among others. Examples abound as water service
days are skipped, telephones break or are suspended without
compensation, decisions delay or prohibit exit from and entry to the
country, and seizures occur at officials' discretion or interpretation
without legal basis; in the end, the common Cuban's defenseless
situations are endless.

The country's top leaders are carrying out an offensive against
corruption—an evil that is difficult to avoid, especially in a country
of fundamental weaknesses, as much present in the Basic Food Basket as
in other individual liberties—a very valid offensive, since with
egalitarianism, paternalism and decontrol, it is nearly impossible to
move forward and plan with what little we have; however, as always, we
observe how far removed this is from the citizens' own "offensive."

Why is it so difficult for the Comptroller to review the Municipal
Housing Agencies, where records of exchanges or expropriations get lost?

Why don't the supervisors of Justice reach the Municipal and Provincial
Courts, where they almost always don't know or don't want to properly
prosecute citizens' administrative, labor and civil cases against those
monopolistic businesses that frequently operate with impunity and
contract abuse?

When will the those charged with applying the law of our country's
People's Courts of Justice recognize their latent responsibility to use
their wisdom to support a true equilibrium, between arrogance, impunity,
mediocrity, and insensitivity of those "officials" and the defenseless

When should these same professionals turn to a concept as a guide in
their precincts… "to challenge dominant, powerful forces within and
beyond the social and national scope…" or also… "defend the values we
believe in, at any cost…"

Or also, why not, to feel that our profession has been a marker and an
honor in the history of democratic and just society, in the brilliance
of public servants like Lincoln, Jefferson, Montesquieu, Agramonte,
Céspedes, and Martí.

There is still time to participate judiciously in a new society, where
we will lack neither compensation, retribution, certification, nor
justice in the shadow of whatever power.

Translated by: Courtney Finkel

August 25 2012


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