Before advancing to a new school or position, the individual's record must first be deemed acceptable". Censorship in Cuba Cuba officially adopted the civil and political rights enumerated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in One of the key principles in the declaration was the insistence on Freedom of expression and opinion.
The Cuban constitution says that free speech is allowed "in keeping with the objectives of socialist society" and that artistic creation is allowed "as long as its content is not contrary to the Revolution". Media is operated under the supervision of the Communist Party's Department of Revolutionary Orientation, which "develops and coordinates propaganda strategies".
Thus the exercise of the right to freedom of expression is restricted by the lack of means of mass communication falling outside state control. Individuals who belong to these groups face systematic harassment, with the government putting up obstacles to impede them from documenting human rights conditions.
In addition, international human rights groups such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International are barred from sending fact-finding missions to Cuba. It remains one of the few countries in the world to deny the International Committee of the Red Cross access to its prisons. Access is only possible with government permission and equipment is rationed. Foreign journalists are systematically expelled from Cuba, e. This often puts at risk the individuals who belong to these associations of facing harassment, intimidation or criminal charges for activities which constitute the legitimate exercise of the fundamental freedoms of expression, association and assembly.
Membership is compulsory for all workers. Before a worker can be hired, they must sign a contract in which they promise to support the Communist Party and everything it represents[ citation needed ].
The government explicitly prohibits independent trade unions, there is systematic harassment and detention of labor activists, and the leaders of attempted independent unions have been imprisoned. The right to strike is not recognized in law. If accepted by the government and approved by public vote, the amendments would have established such things as freedom of association , freedom of speech , freedom of press , as well as starting private businesses.
Another important project is the establishment of the Assembly to Promote Civil Society. Capital punishment in Cuba Cuba placed a moratorium on the use of capital punishment in However, an exception was made when, in , three Cubans were executed for a ferry hijacking in which Cuban passengers and two young French female tourists were held at gunpoint.
The hijackers were attempting to reach Florida, USA in order to seek asylum. No one was harmed in the incident but the gang held knives to the throats and threatened to kill them if the vessel was not given enough fuel to carry them to the United States.
These acts occur when large groups of citizens verbally abuse, intimidate and sometimes physically assault and throw stones and other objects at the homes of Cubans who are considered counter-revolutionaries. Human rights groups suspect that these acts are often carried out in collusion with the security forces and sometimes involve the Committees for the Defence of the Revolution or the Rapid Response Brigades.
The level of violence of these acts have increased significantly since The year-old Valladares refused. Astonished, the agents asked him if he had anything against Castro. Valladares answered that if Castro was a communist, he did. Valladares was convicted on a charge of placing bombs in public places and was sentenced to thirty years in prison.
His supporters contend that he was never part of the Batista police as alleged by Castro supporters because Valladares was only 19 at the time of the revolution , and that his imprisonment was the result of his vocal opposition to the Castro government. In , gay writer Reinaldo Arenas was sent to prison after being charged and convicted of 'ideological deviation' and for publishing abroad without official consent.
He escaped from prison and tried to leave Cuba by launching himself from the shore on a tire inner tube.
The attempt failed and he was re-arrested near Lenin Park and imprisoned at the notorious El Morro Castle alongside murderers and rapists. After escaping from Cuba, Arenas described the horrors he endured under the Cuban government in his autobiography Antes que anochezca , English translation Before Night Falls Desi Mendoza, a Cuban doctor, was imprisoned for making statements criticizing Cuba's response to an epidemic of dengue fever in Santiago de Cuba which he alleged had caused several deaths.
Mendoza had previously been fired from his job in a Cuban hospital three years earlier for establishing an independent medical association.
He was later released due to ill-health, subject to his leaving the country. In early , dozens of persons, including independent journalists, librarians and other opponents of the Castro government were jailed after summary show trials , with some sentences in excess of 20 years, on the charge of receiving money from the United States in order to carry out anti-government activities.
Visa requirements for Cuban citizens are administrative entry restrictions by the authorities of other states placed on citizens of Cuba. In , Cuban citizens had visa-free or visa on arrival access to 61 countries and territories, ranking the Cuban passport 69th in the world. Persons holding dual Spanish and Cuban citizenships are now allowed to travel freely, using their Spanish passport in lieu of a visa for countries normally requiring a visa for the Cuban passport.
Moreover, ever since that date, the Cuban government extended the allowable time abroad from 11 to 24 months, allowing Cubans who return within the month time frame to retain their status and benefits of "Cuban Resident of the Interior". Should the citizen remain out of Cuba for more that 24 months, then his status would change to "Cuban Resident of the Exterior" and he would lose his privileges within.
By this change, there is no longer such a thing as "illegal" or "unauthorized" travel, and therefore persons who leave Cuba via unconventional means boats etc. Prior to January 13, , Cuban citizens could not travel abroad, leave or return to Cuba without first obtaining official permission along with applying for a government issued passport and travel visa, which was often denied. It was common, in those days, that certain citizens who were authorized travel primarily medical personnel and other professionals deemed essential to the country were not permitted to take their children with them overseas.
In the event that Cuban doctors defect to the United States when they are sent to a "mission" out of Cuba to any foreign country, any children left behind would not be allowed to join their defector parent for a minimum of ten years, even if they had received a foreign visa, and regardless of their age.
Even discussing about unauthorized travel carried a six-month prison sentence. In the early years, a number of those who could claim dual Spanish-Cuban citizenship left for Spain.
Over time a number of Cuban Jews were allowed to emigrate to Israel after quiet negotiations; the majority of the 10, or so Jews who were in Cuba in have left. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, many Cubans now reside in a diverse number of countries, some ending up in countries of the European Union.
A large number of Cubans live in Mexico and Canada. At times the exodus was tolerated by the Cuban government as a "release valve"; at other times the government has impeded it. Some Cubans left for economic reasons and some for political ones. Others emigrated by way of the U. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay , which is blocked on the Cuban land side by barbed-wired fences and land mines.
In the US government entered into an agreement with the Cuban government to resolve the emigration crisis that created the Mariel Boatlift of , when Castro opened the docks to anyone who wanted to leave.
The result of the negotiations was an agreement under which the United States was required to issue 20, visas annually to Cuban emigrants. This quota is rarely filled; the Bush administration has refused to comply with the act, issuing only visas to Cubans in the first six months of It has also blocked some Cubans who have visas. In an attempt by the Cuban Navy to stop the tugboat, patrol boats were sent out to intercept the tug.
Crewmen and survivors reported that the interception vessels rammed the tugboat and sprayed its passengers with high-pressure fire hoses, sweeping many overboard.
The US Coast Guard reported that the interceptions in high seas have been characterized as violent confrontations with authorities and by the deaths of immigrants. According to the same authorities, the Cubans are taken to the US on speed boats by a network of criminals specialized in human trafficking, former drug traffickers, based in southern Florida which now find contraband of humans more lucrative than drugs.
These criminals charge 8 to 12 thousand dollars per person, overcrowding the small vessels. The majority of those that attempt to emigrate are individuals that have relatives in the United States, others who do not qualify to be considered as legal immigrants in the US, or those who do not want to wait their turn in the annual quota, assigned under the migratory treaties for legal immigrants  Since November , the Cuban Adjustment Act provides automatic permanent residency for almost all Cubans arriving legally or illegally after one year and one day in the US.
No immigrant from any other nation has this privilege. Controversy over this policy centers around the loss of Cuba's scientists, professionals, technicians and other skilled individuals, but it has also prompted concerns of a migratory crisis. At the end of the fiscal year which ended September 30, the US Coast Guard Service reported having intercepted 2, Cubans at sea, more than double the 1, reported in  The figure for is the third highest of Cubans intercepted in the Florida straights during the last 12 years.
The highest had been reported in with 3, and when over 30, Cubans emigrated illegally due to the so-called migratory crisis between the two countries. These accords force the US to return all those intercepted at sea by US authorities to Cuba, except the cases in which political persecution can be proven to justify exile in the United States.
The accords were designed to discourage those who would consider emigrating illegally by sea but the Bush administration has not complied with Washington's part of the agreements. And since that is not the perception, more and more people continue to illegally leave the island by sea causing fatal consequences. According to studies carried out by Cuban experts on the island, it is estimated that at least 15 percent of those that attempt to cross the sea die before reaching the US.
During the fiscal year, 3, Dominicans were picked up at high seas attempting to illegally reach the US more than Cubans intercepted and in , 3, Haitians were also picked up 2, more than the 1, Cubans that fiscal year. The Brazilian daily O Globo published an article on illegal immigrants in the US, quoting official sources, pointing out that during the first semester of , 27, Brazilians were stopped from illegally crossing US borders, an average of 4, per month and a day.
In , a total of 1,, foreigners, were stopped when attempting to illegally enter the US, 93 percent of them close to 1,, were Mexicans. Education in Cuba Education in Cuba is normally free at all levels and controlled by the Ministry for Education. In the government nationalized all private educational institutions and introduced a state-directed education system. The system has been criticized for political indoctrination and for monitoring the political opinions of the students.
Strong ideological content is present. The constitution states that educational and cultural policy is based on Marxism. Healthcare of Cuba The Cuban government operates on national health system and assumes full fiscal and administrative responsibility for the health care of its citizens. The government prohibits any private alternatives to the national health system. In , Cuba's healthcare program was enshrined in Article 50 of the revised constitution which states, "Everyone has the right to health protection and care".
Healthcare in Cuba is also free. However, there is no right to privacy, or a patient's informed consent, or the right to protest or sue a doctor or clinic for malpractice. Religion in Cuba In the years following the Cuban Revolution , the activities of the Roman Catholic Church were severely limited and in all property held by religious organizations was confiscated without compensation.
Hundreds of members of the clergy , including a bishop , were permanently expelled from the nation. The Cuban leadership was officially atheist until when the Communist Party agreed to allow religious followers to join the party.
In , Pope John Paul II visited the island and was allowed to conduct large outdoor masses and visas were issued for nineteen foreign priests taking up residence in the country. In addition, other religious groups in Cuba such as the Jewish community are now permitted to hold public services and to import religious materials and kosher food for Passover , as well as to receive rabbis and other religious visitors from abroad.