Although Cuba has undergone reforms in many areas since Raúl Castro took power in 2006, its record for observance of fundamental human rights listed in UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights remains by far the poorest of all Latin American countries. The situation has not even changed since the resumption of diplomatic and trade relations between Cuba and the USA in 2015.
This applies mainly to the freedom of thought, conscience and religion, freedom of expression and the freedom of peaceful assembly and association. Every month, a few hundred of activists are taken into custody. Broadcasting, press and television are subject of total control of the state and a number of independent media is blocked. For the majority of people the Internet is inaccessible. (For more information see our 2016 report here.)
Civil society support
We focus intently on support of civil society in Cuba. We organise training sessions where experts from different countries and fields can share their experience with them.
Thanks to close cooperation with partners on the island, we can concentrate on raising the professionalism and transparency of projects created by independent groups. With our assistance, they learn to evaluate the needs of their communities and provide help that makes a difference. Every six months we allocate small grants in order to intensify their activities. The projects that we have subsidised so far include the publication of an independent newspaper, human rights seminars, ecological projects or the functioning of a writers’ club.
We pay particular attention to independent journalists and agencies in Cuba. We support them in their professional struggle to provide critical information for Cuban citizens and through whom we try to keep the general European public and media up to date about the situation on the island.
Cuban journalist HF came at our invitation to the Czech Republic on a ten-day course of video journalism. Since he has been back in Cuba, he has been recording reports covering the main events on the island. He distributes his reports burned onto CDs, offers them to foreign media and uploads them to YouTube where they are viewed tens of thousands of times. The conditions under which he works are very complicated – as an independent journalist he works illegally from his small flat in Havana and is regularly followed and confronted by state police.
Direct aid to the persecuted
Cuban regime has changed his strategy towards opposition activists, which now lies mainly in subtle but constant repression and short-term custody.
Direct aid to the politically persecuted has been organised in Cuba since 2013 mainly via the EYE on CUBA activists’ network (www.eyeoncuba.org). Members of this network support those in their community who are subjected to political persecution and harassment conducted by the state, and their families. They provide material assistance and arrange legal and psychological aid. We provide material and financial resources to EYE on CUBA activists, organise trainings and supports their legal representation. Over the period between 2012 and 2016, PIN provided legal and psychological aid in a total of 4,712 cases.
For more about the violation of human rights see here.
We aspire to inform the general public and, in particular, the representatives of European governments and institutions about the real situation in Cuba. Our intention is to raise awareness about the true situation concerning human and civil rights on the “island of freedom” and appeal to Europe Union and its members to apply responsible approach to Cuba in their foreign policy.
For these activities we use a pan-European network of non-profit organisations, the EU Cuba Network of which we are the constituent member.
The Anglo-Spanish server Cubalog.eu publishes articles and photographs from Cuba by independent Cuban journalists. Twice a year we publish a printed version.
Want to know what’s happening in Cuba? Read: Cubalog.eu