Prematurely of President Barack Obama’s ancient seek advice from to Cuba on March 22, there’s hypothesis approximately whether or not he can drive Cuba to give a boost to its human rights. However a comparability of Cuba’s human rights report with that of america presentations that america will have to be taking classes from Cuba.

The Common Assertion of Human Rights incorporates other classes of human rights – civil and political rights at the one hand; and financial, social and cultural rights at the different.

Civil and political rights come with the rights to lifestyles, loose expression, freedom of faith, truthful trial, self-choice; and to be loose from torture, merciless remedy, and arbitrary detention.

Financial, social and cultural rights contain the rights to training, healthcare, social safety, unemployment insurance coverage, paid maternity depart, equivalent pay for equivalent paintings, relief of baby mortality; prevention, remedy and regulate of illnesses; and to shape and sign up for unions and strike.

Those human rights are enshrined in treaties – the Global Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Global Covenant on Financial, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). America has ratified the ICCPR.

However america refuses to ratify the ICESCR. Because the Reagan management, it’s been US coverage to outline human rights handiest as civil and political rights. Financial, social and cultural rights are disregarded as comparable to social welfare, or socialism.

America executive criticizes civil and political rights in Cuba whilst dismissing Cubans’ awesome get entry to to common housing, well being care, training, and its ensure of paid maternity depart and equivalent pay charges.

In the meantime, america executive has dedicated critical human rights violations on Cuban soil, together with torture, merciless remedy, and arbitrary detention at Guantanamo. And because 1960, america has expressly interfered with Cuba’s financial rights and its proper to self-decision in the course of the financial embargo.

America embargo of Cuba, now a blockade, used to be initiated through President Dwight D. Eisenhower all through the Chilly Conflict according to a 1960 memo written via a senior State Division authentic. The memo proposed “a line of motion that makes the best inroads in denying cash and provides to Cuba, to lower financial and actual wages, to lead to starvation, desperation and the overthrow of the [Castro] executive.”

That purpose has failed, however the punishing blockade has made lifestyles tricky in Cuba. Regardless of that inhumane attempt, then again, Cuba promises its other folks a exceptional panoply of human rights.


In contrast to in the USA, healthcare is thought of as a proper in Cuba. Common healthcare is loose to all. Cuba has the very best ratio of docs to sufferers on the earth at 6.7 in line with 1,000 other folks. The 2014 child mortality fee used to be four.2 according to 1,000 are living births – some of the lowest on the earth.

Healthcare in Cuba emphasizes prevention, quite than depending best on drugs, in part as a result of the restricted get right of entry to to medications occasioned by way of america blockade. In 2014, the Lancel Magazine stated, “If the accomplishments of Cuba may well be reproduced throughout a extensive vary of bad and center-source of revenue nations the well being of the arena’s inhabitants can be reworked.” Cuba has evolved pioneering medications to regard and save you lung most cancers, and save you diabetic amputations. As a result of the blockade, then again, we in america can not benefit from them.


Loose training is a common proper as much as and together with upper training. Cuba spends a bigger percentage of its GDP on training than some other united states on the planet. “Cellular academics” are deployed to houses if youngsters are not able to wait faculty. Many faculties supply loose morning and after-faculty take care of running oldsters who don’t have any prolonged circle of relatives. It’s loose to coach to be a physician in Cuba. There are 22 clinical faculties in Cuba, up from most effective three in 1959 sooner than the Cuban Revolution.


Elections to Cuba’s nationwide parliament (the Nationwide Meeting) happen each and every 5 years and elections to local Municipal Assemblies each and every 2.five years. Delegates to the Nationwide Meeting then select the Council of State, which in flip appoints the Council of Ministers from which the President is elected.

As of 2018 (the date of the following basic election in Cuba), there shall be a restrict of not more than 5-yr phrases for all senior elected positions, together with the President. Somebody may also be nominated to be a candidate. It isn’t required that one be a member of the Communist Birthday celebration (CP). No cash can also be spent selling applicants and no political events (together with the CP) are accepted to marketing campaign all the way through elections. Army body of workers don’t seem to be on responsibility at polling stations; faculty youngsters shield the poll bins.

Hard work Rights

Cuban regulation promises the correct to voluntarily shape and sign up for industry unions. Unions are legally unbiased and financially self sufficient, unbiased of the CP and the state, funded through participants’ subscriptions. Staff’ rights safe through unions come with a written agreement, a forty-forty four-hour week, and 30 days’ paid annual depart within the state sector.

Unions have the suitable to prevent paintings they believe bad. They have got the proper to take part in corporate control, to obtain control knowledge, to workplace area and fabrics, and to facility time for representatives. Union settlement is needed for lay-offs, adjustments in styles of running hours, additional time, and the once a year protection document. Unions even have a political position in Cuba and feature a constitutional proper to be consulted approximately employment regulation. Additionally they have the fitting to recommend new regulations to the Nationwide Meeting.


Ladies make up nearly all of Cuban judges, lawyers, legal professionals, scientists, technical staff, public well being staff and pros. Cuba is ranked first in Keep the Youngsters’s ‘Lesser Evolved Nations’ Mom’s Index. With over forty eight% ladies MPs, Cuba has the 3rd easiest proportion of feminine parliamentarians on the earth. Ladies obtain nine months of complete earnings throughout paid maternity depart, adopted via three months at seventy five% of complete revenue. The federal government subsidizes abortion and circle of relatives making plans, puts a top worth on pre-natal care, and gives ‘maternity housing’ to girls ahead of giving delivery.

Lifestyles Expectancy

In 2013, the Global Well being Group indexed lifestyles expectancy for ladies in Cuba at eighty; the determine used to be seventy seven for males. The chance of death among a while 15 and 60 years in keeping with 1,000 other folks within the inhabitants used to be one hundred fifteen for males and seventy three for ladies in Cuba.

All the way through the similar duration, lifestyles expectancy for ladies in america used to be eighty one for ladies and seventy six for males. The chance of death among 15 and 60 according to 1,000 folks used to be 128 for males and seventy six for ladies in america.

Demise Penalty

A examine through Cornell Regulation Faculty discovered nobody beneath sentence of demise in Cuba and nobody on dying row in October 2015. On December 28, 2010, Cuba’s Ideal Courtroom commuted the dying sentence of Cuba’s final final dying row inmate, a Cuban-American convicted of a homicide performed right through a 1994 terrorist invasion of the island. No new dying sentences are recognized to were imposed seeing that that point.

Against this, as of January 1, 2016, 2,949 folks have been on demise row in state amenities in the USA. And sixty two have been on federal demise row as of March sixteen, 2016, in line with Dying Penalty Knowledge.

Sustainable Construction

In 2016, the Global Flora and fauna Fund (WWF), a number one international environmental group, discovered that Cuba used to be the one united states on the earth to have accomplished sustainable construction. Jonathan Loh, probably the most authors of the WWF record, stated, “Cuba has reached a just right degree of construction in keeping with United Countries’ standards, way to its top literacy degree and an overly top lifestyles expectancy, whilst the ecological footprint isn’t massive due to the fact that this is a usa with low power intake.”

Prevent Lecturing Cuba and Raise the Blockade

While Cuba and the United States held talks approximately human rights a yr in the past, Pedro Luis Pedroso, head of the Cuban delegation, stated, “We expressed our considerations relating to discrimination and racism styles in US society, the worsening of police brutality, torture acts and extrajudicial executions within the battle on terror and the criminal limbo of prisoners at the United States jail camp in Guantanamo.”

The hypocrisy of america executive in lecturing Cuba approximately its human rights at the same time as denying many fundamental human rights to the American other folks is obvious. America will have to raise the blockade. Obama will have to shut Guantanamo and go back it to Cuba.

Marjorie Cohn is a professor at Thomas Jefferson Faculty of Regulation, former president of the Nationwide Legal professionals Guild, and deputy secretary common of the Global Affiliation of Democratic Legal professionals. Her so much up to date ebook is Drones and Focused Killing: Felony, Ethical, and Geopolitical Problems. Practice her on Twitter at @marjoriecohn.

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