Consent Vitiated

consentimiento

The majority of Cubans belong to social and mass organizations founded since 1959 by government agencies. Although many people do not expressly state their willingness to join, few argue against it.

However, in the legislation that established these social and mass organizations, we find a series of conditions that exclude consent, since there is a divergence between what is wanted and what constitutes a voluntary declaration, like that which can be expressed with mental reservations.

One of the responsibilities of the members of the committee for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR), for example, is to monitor and uphold socialist legality. Let’s imagine a mother who tolerates that her daughter is a prostitute, or that her son engages in illicit economic activities, while she participates in the activities of the CDR. The former two behaviors are condemned by the system. So, obviously, there is pretense, both on the part of the mother and of the CDR.

Another condition in the legislation states that even having a perfect match between what you want and say, consent is vitiated by intimidation. For membership and participation in these organizations diverts attention from the repressive apparatus, and the person, including his or her family and personal belongings, may feel less watched.

Another example. One of the requirements to establish a working relationship with the State, the only legal employer in the country, is to present a document issued by the CDR in support of the potential employee’s behavior and reliability. A negative rating means not getting the job wanted or needed, becoming one of the means that the government has to annul the decision making capacity and personal realization of the citizen. This type of intimidation causes that a high number of individuals to decide to belong to the CDRs and other organizations that provide “guarantees”.

All this that has been taking place in Cuba, for almost half a century, is in clear violation of Article 20, Section 2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “No one may be compelled to belong to an association.”

Laritza Diversent

Translated by: Eon Flux

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