Despite being a great island to live in, Cuba still faces a tremendous amount of issues, especially with the Cuban government, which continues to repress all forms of dissent and public criticism. At the same time, Cubans are also dealing with a dire economic crisis that has impacted the economic and social rights of the people.
IN July 2022, thousands of Cubans came to the streets to protest the long-standing restrictions on many rights, the security of necessities like food and medicines, and their response to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, despite severe protests and cries for help, the government responded with silence and repression.
Detention and short-term imprisonment
In response to such long, ongoing protests in the island country, the Cuban government employs arbitrary detention to intimidate and harass all the critics, political opponents, independent activities, and others. However, many residents also complain that security officers seldom produce arrest warrants to justify their actions.
Many families have complained that over 1000 people, primarily bystanders and peaceful demonstrators, were arrested or detained during the July protests. Many were also subjected to ill-treatment or violently beaten during detention. During detention, two female officers also made a 17-year-old girl strip and squat naked five times.
Many offices have also used the excuse of COVID spread to detain people in their homes for weeks and miss –treat them during their detention.
Freedom of expression
The Cuban government virtually controls all media activities and restricts people to outside information. In 2021, although the Cuban government expanded the permit of private economic activities, they still banned independent journalism.
Many bloggers, journalists, media influences, academics, and others who post sensitive information critical to the government are often subjected to harassment, travel restrictions, online harassment, raids on rescue, and confiscating gadgets. They are also denied the freedom of expression and are regularly held incommunicado.
However, due to the new regulations imposed in 2019, the Cuban government has also increased access to the internet and communication. They have also allowed bloggers and journalists to report on issues regarding protests, abuse, and other sensitive topics, which was deemed impossible years ago,
Over the years, the travel restrictions for Cuban citizens have been eased. People who were denied travel until 2013, like bloggers and human rights defenders, have gained permission to do so recently. However, authorities continue to restrict access to other places selectively.
Due to the strict policies put forth by the Cuban government, the prison often remains overcrowded. As a result, the detainees generally lack an effective complaint for abuses and other crimes of the accused. People who are on hunger strikes or go against the government face beatings, restrictions to family visits, denial of medical care, solitary confinement, and many other punishments.