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12/13/13 - Prensa Latina - The Truth about Human Rights in Cuba 

By Daniel Urbino*

Havana, (PL) To talk about Cuba and human rights is complex, since the
global media machine, or at least its more obstinate spectrum, tries to
dismantle in its speech the achievements reached by the island in this
topic.

And indeed they have had some success. In this world there are those who
believe that in Cuba the parents have no custody of the children and that
everyone should wear the same clothes has been forbidden chewing gum and
goes marching to work.

The funny thing is that thereâÖs no need to do a lot of research to find a
very different reality.

Cuba today is a melting pot of diversity, realities and opportunities for
all regardless of race, sex, language, religion, political or another kind
of opinion, national or social origin, economic situation, birth or other
status, such as stated in the universal declaration.

How to explain another point of view just when it has just been re-elected
by the international community as a member of the Human Rights Council of
the UN?

Along with Mexico, Cuba is one of the two states representing Latin America
and the Caribbean in that forum.

This result recognizes the work of a revolution that guarantees full
respect for dignity, puts social justice as guidance of its program and
policies, and shares its modest progress with other peoples of the world,
said the Permanent Mission of the island to the UN.

In turn, in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) 2013 âa mechanism for
periodic review of compliance with the obligations and commitments on human
rightsâ Cuba explained that it advances in the effort to reach the widest
possible enjoyment of all human freedoms.

And the nation is doing this while facing one of the longest blockades in
the history of mankind. A siege imposed on the largest of the Antilles by
the U.S. more than half a century ago, which has had a high social and
material cost.

Despite it and the urgent economic needs, the access to health and
education is universal and free for all Cubans, something only implemented
in highly advanced nations with a highly developed welfare state.

It must be added that Cuba occupies the 14th place on the EFA Development
Index (EDI).

Just to provide other data, women hold nearly half of the seats in
parliament, making the body into the third with more female presence in the
world.

In addition, women have 41 % of management positions and represent 65 %of
professional and technical strength of the country and 62 % of college
graduates.

RELIGION

Religious freedom is one of the issues most commonly used for
manipulations. Obviously, those who make these speeches do not take into
account the public recognition of Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI
during their visits to the island.

ItâÖs not about denying the social prejudices that might exist at the
social level, but accepting that âas endorsed by UPR 2013â all faiths are
respected without discrimination and religious freedom is protected.

On the basis of religious freedom, the government maintains and strengthens
relationships with all faiths and religious institutions, which are about
400, said the report.

The same happens in the cultural field: Cuba has proclaimed in different
spaces and times its interest of promoting equal opportunities for the
development of cultural potential in every citizen.

To do this, it has a network of cultural institutions, 310 book stores, 18
trova houses, 464 video rooms spread all over the country, 356 public
libraries, 267 museums and two circus tents, all backed by the work of more
than 2500 professional cultural promoters.

Only in 2011-2012, art schools had more than 4000 students at the
elementary level, 3210 in the middle and 1368 in the high level.

Another aspect in which country progressed strongly in recent years was in
respecting freedom of sexual orientation and gender identity, since the
expansion of opportunities for dialogue where sexuality is approached from
positions of respect, understanding and sensitization was favored,
according to the UPR.

Similarly, the Education Strategy for the Respect to Free and Responsible
Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity involving government institutions
and organizations of civil society was implanted.

ItâÖs not worth continuing numbering public achievements in the prevention
and mitigation of disasters, in international cooperation, in childhood,
youth, the elderly and people with disabilities, among other issues.

The figures are just a sample of what has been done and how much it is
distorted about an island that is far from being a place with no rule of
law.

* Journalist of the National Editorial Department of Prensa Latina News
Agency

Sc/rlf/urb/rcg


Original Source / Fuente Original:
http://www.plenglish.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2174311&Itemid=1


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