Human Rights and
International Democratic Solidarity

ARTICLES

Foreign Agents Law in Georgia: A Wake-Up Call in an Unstable Region

The approval of the Foreign Agents Law in Georgia has resulted in protests and increased levels of political violence and polarization, with a government determined to move forward at any cost, knowing it has electoral support. Promoting fear and paranoia about supposed foreign influence resembles the Cold War more than the current reality, in which Georgia aspires to join the European Union, a bloc whose headquarters are, of course, abroad.

The defiance of a blank sheet of paper

Being forced to leave behind –at the age of 27, perhaps forever– her country, family and dreams seems a heavy price to pay. What sparked the authorities’ fury against Rei was her participation, in late 2022, in a silent protest in Shanghai against the Covid restrictions, in which attendees displayed blank sheets of paper. Such conduct is not a criminal offence in the free world, but it can change the course of a life in China. Talking is forbidden. So is silence.

The Uyghur Genocide: China’s Reign of Repression

Despite gaining international attention, the Chinese government has intensified its propaganda efforts and disinformation campaigns to obscure the reality on the ground. In addition, ever since the start of the genocide, seven years ago, the Chinese government’s repression extends beyond East Turkistan, targeting Uyghur human rights defenders, journalists, activists, and members of the diaspora worldwide.

The Big Business of Selling Gas to Europe: A Blank Check for Increasingly More Dictators

The European Union faces a great moral dilemma. But if it intends to exert some pressure on Russia and punish its leaders for violations of international law, it is of little use if it ends up endorsing other states that commit equally serious crimes in such a sustained manner.

The incorporation of protest in Cuba as a tool for democratization

Most importantly, in the terrain of the left and of the Latin American space: Cuba is Latin-Americanizing in two fundamental directions: in the area of inequalities and in the incorporation of protest as a tool for democratization. Latin America should listen.

Game over for Hong Kong

The promulgation of the National Security Law that develops, according to Article 23 of the Basic Law (the so-called mini-Constitution of the island), the crimes of treason, secession, sedition, or subversion against the central government, among others, somehow culminates the involution of a Hong Kong finally brought back to the discipline of the Chinese Communist Party.

Argentina before the international claim for Tibet

No Latin American country made a recommendation to China on Tibet in its recent human rights review in Geneva, which reflects how far the Latin American region is from inserting itself internationally in the claim for noble causes, including countries such as Argentina, Chile and Uruguay that lived through terrible military dictatorships.

Surveillance and security in Tibet: China creating an orwellian world with information warfare

The escalating scope and sophistication of China’s surveillance apparatus necessitate a critical examination of its implications for human rights and global democratic norms. This article advocates for an immediate cessation of technological abuses and a commitment to transparency, data protection, and adherence to international human rights standards by the Chinese government and the international community.

Cuban exodus: a move we’ve seen before

To explain the massive migratory wave, one must take into account the situation people face on the island and the factors that pull them northward. It must also be recognized that this is yet another instance of manipulation of human beings by autocratic governments.

A monitoring of Argentina’s foreign policy on human rights

CADAL launched the initiative »Point out and shame dictatorships» which consists in comparing the intervention of our country with another one that deserves to be highlighted. For example, last January 23 took place the 4th UPR of China, considered »autocracy», »not free country» and with »closed civic space», where CADAL highlights the intervention of the United Kingdom and invites to qualify Argentina’s intervention to monitor its commitment to human rights and international democratic solidarity.

The last democracy on the planet

Taiwan has been running free elections for almost thirty years now. The world should finally take note. Most European governments have not even dared to name the winner of the elections in their reactions. Such self-restraint does not only betray a model democracy.

Why Taiwan’s presidential election is important for regional peace

Taiwan’s presidential and legislative elections carry great significance for the overall stability of US-China relations and the cohesion of Indo-Pacific regional alignment.

The «Silicon Shield»: Geopolitical consequences of Taiwan’s crucial role in the semiconductor supply

While the companies are trying to maintain their profitable position on the global semiconductor market, for politicians the chip industry is something they can use in diplomatic negotiations, and more importantly, it is viewed as crucial for the maintaining of Taiwan’s de facto independence.

Analysis: Taiwan’s Fate is Our Future

No people should be given the untenable choice between subjugation and annihilation, and if we force such choices on free peoples, we not only lose our humanity but, more problematically, we increase the likelihood that other tyrannical regimes will conclude that it is possible to coerce, terrorize, and subjugate their neighbors.

Maud Daverio Cox: Farewell to a heroine

She leaves a tremendous legacy of civic courage, solidarity and genuine commitment to the defense of human rights. Never will be forgotten the time she confronted Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet at the assembly of the Inter-American Press Association in Santiago, Chile, and, looking him straight to the face, called him «murderer».

Debating the rise of anti-Semitism in Latin America since October 7, 2023

On Tuesday, December 5, the Argentine Zionist Organization (Organización Sionista Argentina) invited to a virtual chat in which the director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center Latin America, Dr. Ariel Gelblung, and Dr. Ariel Seidler, of the Observatorio Web, offered some reflections on how the current war between Israel and the terrorist group Hamas has impacted anti-Semitism in the Latin American region.

Milei, China and the shadow of »King Cobra»

Milei has the opportunity to demonstrate, in terms of his China policy, that defending Argentine interests and, at the same time, principles, should be compatible objectives.

Will Milei invite autocracies to his presidential inauguration?

Javier Milei’s refusal to invite autocratic countries to his presidential inauguration implies, on the one hand, not granting them »equal treatment», since their representatives lack the democratic legitimacy that he has and, on the other hand, sending a message of international democratic solidarity to the victims of repression and state terrorism in autocracies.

Argentina: the end of Peronist exceptionalism and doubts about governability

The landslide victory over Sergio Massa opens a window of opportunity. Milei could add the support of those factions of Peronism that do not answer to Cristina Fernández de Kirchner leadership. This option clashes with Milei’s campaign discourse and requires a great deal of political bargaining.

Grief at the death of Jesús Ociel Baena Salcedo

Less than two months after my return from Guadalajara, I received the news of the death of the jurist, with whom I shared the panel dedicated to hate speech. I convey my solidarity with the feeling of grief and shock caused in Mexico by the loss of a being who made of his existence a testimony in favor of life, equality and respect for differences, the basis and sustenance of the legal philosophy of human rights.

Democracy won: Poland voted for the Rule of Law and against exclusion

The new government to be formed in the coming months will have the task of reversing the democratic decline, which will not be easy. Duda has veto power and a mandate until 2025; PiS still has control over public institutions such as the Constitutional Tribunal and the National Council of the Judiciary, in addition to the state broadcaster TVP. And their discourse has deeply affected a generation of Poles.

The faces of resistance to the Russian government are traveling across Europe

The goal of this traveling exhibition is to draw attention to the blatant violation of human rights in Russia, to show that there are Russians who oppose Putin and the war, and that many of them are imprisoned for their ideas, subjected to torture, and held in unbearable conditions.

Should Chile point out human rights violations in China?

That China is a dictatorship and its victims are counted in millions is more than documented, and with its anti-democracy narrative and its global economic influence the Chinese Communist Party regime is the greatest threat to the universal ideal of human rights. The more countries denounce its human rights situation the more the Asian giant’s reprisals will be cushioned, the more changes of political openness it will favor and the more moral authority it will grant to point the finger at other dictatorships.

China in the center of the debt crisis

China will remain a lender in the years ahead, but governments should be more assertive when engaging with China. Demand transparency and openness in your dealings, ensure that local suppliers and local labor is not cut out of the tendering and construction process, and ask tough questions about viability of the project. The days of the China miracle economy are over, and the Belt & Road Initiative is no magic wand which can solve a country’s infrastructure problems.

The hijacking of the nation and its symbols: The sterile imagination of Díaz Canel and Ortega

Today, it is the activists, the opponents, the networks formed by the diasporas and the Nicaraguans and Cubans who defend human rights in their countries who have the capacity to imagine inclusive and democratic projects and to create the sense of community that nation building requires.

The Risks of Academic Engagement with PRC Counterparts

The Chinese regime targets Latin American scholars and think tanks because these institutions, together with the media, should be objectively and independently reviewing Chinese activities in the region. Thus, coopting them makes it easier for China to buy influence, distort democratic dialogue and impose censorship and self-censorship on its observers.

Is madness already coming to Argentina?

Milei represents a dogmatic ideology, which combines economic libertarianism with political conservatism, which, besides not being applied in any country in the world, denies dissent and the possibility of peacefully confronting opinions, that is to say, of practicing political tolerance, which is the basis of democratic coexistence.

Decommunization processes, from imposition to debate

The difficulty of this process lies in maintaining enough balance so as not to become the exact opposite of what it is intended to combat. To not reach the point where the extremes meet: to not impose a certain attitude against what was previously imposed. To not fall into a revanchism of tit for tat. To not destroy or erase history as if it had never happened, as if the past could not bequeath lessons.

Human Rights and International Security in North Korea

North Korea explained that asking it to account for its actions is an intrusion into the country’s internal affairs and that it is within its rights to conduct military tests in the face of possible attacks by »hostile forces» on a pre-emptive basis. The 70th anniversary of the Korean War armistice is a reminder that sustainable peace on the Korean Peninsula remains elusive.

The Libertarian Illusion and How it Threatens Human Rights

For Milei, accomplishing his political promises is not feasible unless he weakens democratic institutions. The probable negative effect of Milei’s government on civil and political liberties is compounded by the fact that libertarians do not recognize economic, social, and cultural rights. Therefore, their ideology conflicts with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

North Korean Human Rights: a way forward?

The event presented the human rights situation in the country and explored how the issue of human rights can be taken as a theme in future bilateral and multilateral interactions with Pyongyang.

The ball was stained: human rights before, during, and after the 2022 World Cup in Qatar

The lack of action on the part of FIFA and Qatari authorities means that Qatar continues to exhibit human rights violations and though the World Cup exposed this, in the 13 years since site selection, there has been insufficient progress in this field.

Persecuted, poisoned and condemned: Kara-Murza, the paradigm of the Russian opposition

Almost exactly one year after his arrest, on April 17th, he was sentenced to 25 years in prison. »No one should be deprived of their freedom to exercise their human rights, so I call on the Russian authorities to release the journalist without delay,» said United Nations Human Rights Chief Volker Türk.

Legislative elections mark a new disappointment for democracy in Kazakhstan

The constitutional referendum, the presidential and legislative elections, three votes in just 9 months, show that the trend is not towards renewal but rather towards consolidating a new variant of all-powerful leader.

Advocating for a Human Rights Up Front Approach in North Korea

The conference concluded with the sentiment that after employing the ‘human rights up front approach’, Korean unification under a free, prosperous, democratic, and capitalist Republic of Korea is the key to resolving the North Korean security & human rights conundrum.

It Is Time for a Values-Based Economic «NATO»

China’s pattern of using economic means to achieve its goals on issues involving value conflicts has continued from the Hu Jintao era to the Xi Jinping era. In fact, it has intensified under Xi.

Against repression, authoritarianism and an invisible war: the story of the Belarusian Nobel Peace Prize winner sentenced to 10 years in prison

«We feel the international solidarity from democratic countries, from our colleagues and partners around the world. That helps us to continue working hard. We are convinced that finally Belarus will become a true democratic state of Europe».

Remembrance and International Democratic Solidarity

Double standards must not be applied when judging foreign authoritarian regimes, whether the regime implements left-wing or right-wing ideology. This is a fundamental principle of human rights activism. Given that human rights are universal rights, human rights organizations should vigilantly protect human rights in all cases.

Whether Argentina wins or loses, human rights in Qatar matter

(Clarin) Argentina’s international insensibility represents, in a way, a failure of the ideals of Memory, Truth, and Justice and a general ignorance of Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: «All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.»

North Korea in the eyes of the European Union and the United Nations Special Rapporteur

Elizabeth Salmón presented, in mid-October, the progress of her first report as Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. In this report, she highlights the areas of focus that she will undertake during her mandate.

Remarks before the Committee on Juridical and Political Affairs of the OAS

CADAL’s Consultant on Global Projects participated in the Special Session of the CAJP on lessons learned and exchange of good practices on freedom of peaceful assembly and association, of the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States Committee on Juridical and Political Affairs. He was the only representative of civil society to point out the situation in Cuba. Complained by colleagues from the San Isidro Movement (Cuba) and La Corriente Feminista (Nicaragua), member organizations of the Coalition for Freedom of Association.

The facade collapses in Uzbekistan: repression marks the end of a period of transformation

Protests in early July in Karakalpakstan were harshly repressed, leaving 18 dead and more than 500 detained, according to the government, which also said protesters had attempted to occupy public buildings. Mirziyoyev went even further and, although he did not accuse anyone in particular, declared that the riots were planned for years by foreign forces, as if the civil society of his country could not question him. For a few days, internet access was blocked and a state of emergency and curfew were established.

Passports should guarantee respect for human rights, not serve as a pretext for war

Post-Soviet republics do not have citizenship policies that are as liberal as those in the Americas. Most of them prohibit their citizens from holding Russian passports specifically, which can alienate Russian-speaking populations, even leading them to support Putin’s military interventions. This is too bad, because freedom of movement and the possibility of citizenship in democratic countries are a liberal antidote for Russian irredentism.

Democracy at a crossroads, the central theme of a brilliant forum on these turbulent times

The future of the democratic system, far from certain and in precarious balance even in countries with a long tradition, was the focus of discussion during a National Endowment for Democracy (NED) forum honoring the celebrated political scientist Larry Diamond.

Another possible wave of protests keeps the Cuban government awake

The statements of the president of the People’s Supreme Court could not be more absurd. There is nothing further from a “modern” law than the new Cuban criminal code, an archaic catalog of prohibitions, severe punishments and limitations that put an almost definitive clamp on the possibility of expressing oneself, through the press, art, any cultural or political expression, contrary to the official point of view.

Business and interests: the allies that support Moscow

Not all authoritarian or semi-authoritarian regimes are allies of Moscow, but all Moscow’s allies are authoritarian regimes. When the United Nations General Assembly voted in March to condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine, only five states opposed it: Belarus, North Korea, Eritrea, Syria and Russia itself. In April, the same organization voted to suspend Russia in the Human Rights Council and this time there were 24 countries that supported the Kremlin. Among others, Cuba, China, Iran, Kazakhstan, Nicaragua, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam joined. And Venezuela should probably also be included, but its right to vote is suspended. All these countries are ruled by dictatorships.

Democracy and global peace

If the path to world peace depends on the globalization of democracy, then countries with governments based on the standards of article 12 of the Universal Declaration on Democracy must adopt international democratic solidarity as a fundamental axis of its foreign policy on human rights and do so without double standards.

Migration crisis in Europe: human beings as a bargaining chip

For Lukashenko, these thousands of human beings represent nothing more than a tool to force the EU to lift sanctions, or at least to negotiate a way out of the crisis and, in this way, recognize him as a legitimate president for the first time since 2020. It matters little that a few dozen people die from cold and hunger. The story could end here, in the sole responsibility of an autocratic and violent leader who has tortured his compatriots, who censures and represses all dissent. But the reality is more complex. Poland has steadfastly refused to accept the passage of migrants to its territory and has expelled those who managed to get around the border fences.

Haiti: what now?

The only clear humanitarian choice is to grant some kind of temporary protected status to many of the people who are already in camps on the US-Mexico border. Humanitarian groups in the US and other countries should be allowed to sponsor refugees. It is of course even more important to help Haitians to build peace and prosperity in Haiti, but this is an even harder problem. It will require a creating a functioning state and the conditions conducive to economic activity.

Why does Kazakhstan need to be on the UN Human Rights Council?

Kazakhstan’s desire to become a member on the HRC does not have as much to do with human rights as it does with the country’s foreign policy and the matters of positioning internationally. So that it can say that if the country is a member on the HRC, it is promoting human rights. This is not the first such foreign policy initiative made by Kazakhstan’s authorities. In 2010, Kazakhstan was the first of the ex-USSR states to be elected as Chair of the OSCE. In 2013-2015, Kazakhstan was elected as a member on the HRC for the first time. Today, it is ramping up to take part for a second time in a no-alternative election.

Universal Democracy: A Global Standard or a Western Concept?

Democracy is a set of elements that form the base of a society where the human rights of every individual, group, and identity are respected. It is not a Western concept but a universal one, that is compatible with the multitude of cultural differences and divergences that exist in this world. Democracy is able to be flexible and be expressed based on the unique needs of each society.

Afghanistan and the new challenge of not looking the other way

One day the American president announced that his troops would start withdraw and that was the end. In just over a week the entire Afghan territory was back under Taliban control and the president had left the country, perhaps to Tajikistan. Twenty years of building a self-sustaining state were in vain and in the end the structure collapsed like a house of cards. Quickly and stealthily.

Fernández at the celebration of the Chinese Communist Party: an indifferent obsequiousness with millions of victims

Once again it is not understood how the government decides with regrettable obsequiousness - worthy of “carnal relations” - to celebrate the birthday of dictators. Moreover, he does it at a party full of autocratic guests from all regions and trends, as evidenced by presences ranging from the sanguinary Philippine leader Rodrigo Duterte to the Cuban autocrat Miguel Diaz Canel. From right to left, from east to west and from north to south.

Germany and human rights in Cuba: strong in Geneva, weak in Havana

Notwithstanding Germany’s role as a world power with a leading position within the European Union, and despite its exemplary attitude towards Cuba in the UN Human Rights Council, Germany has become just another country of the European Union that is soft with Havana and that currently does not recognize democratic activists. Meanwhile, the Cuban government has maintained relations with the opposition in Germany, including the Left Party (DIE LINKE), the Cuba Solidarity Network in Germany (Netzwerk Cuba e.V.), the Bavarian University Centre for Latin America (BAYLAT), the German Communist Party (DKP), the Germany-Central America Parliamentary Group, the Socialist German Workers' Youth (SDAJ), the Germany-Cuba Friendship Society, among others.

The Venezuelan diaspora and the Cuban example

There are more than a thousand NGOs in various host countries that are working to organize the Venezuelan diaspora. Its leaders are aware of the Cuban experience and are interacting with diaspora Cubans via events like the one CADAL sponsored in April. Can the knowledge gained from these interactions help Venezuelans? The answer likely depends on the goal.

The plane hijacked by Belarus is a new challenge for the European Union

On Sunday, May 23rd, Poratsevich traveled to Lithuania from Greece, where he had attended an event with exiled opposition leader Svetlana Tsikhanouskaya. A few minutes after landing in Vilnius, the Lithuanian capital, his flight was diverted by the Belarusian authorities to Minsk under the pretext of an alleged bomb threat. Why land in Minsk if the destination airport was the closest one? According to the Lithuanian authorities, of the 126 passengers who boarded in Athens, 5 remained in Minsk: Protasevich, his girlfriend (of Russian citizenship) and three men whose identity was not revealed.

Kyrgyzstan: how to break democracy in six months

The once most democratic country in Central Asia it has been an almost direct flight from a chaotic and fragmented but democratic system to the heavy hand of a strong boss with increasing power and less opposition. Perhaps this distant country allows us to understand how weak democracy is when there are no solid institutions, how fragility entails instability and this opens the doors to charismatic leaders who proclaim themselves saviors just to take a step towards authoritarianism.

Pandemic, protests and corruption: a difficult scenario after the Bulgarian elections

Bulgaria is not only the poorest country in the European Union, it also has the worst corruption rates (according to Transparency International) and the least press freedom in the bloc (according to Reporters Without Borders); this is why the emergence of a popular figure in opposition to the traditional parties and to a questioned status quo, was so promising. However, the government leader resigned twice as Prime Minister and was elected again both times. Will he be able to do it again?

Belarusian government discriminates against athletes ahead of Tokyo Olympics

(Diálogo Político) The participation of Belarusian athletes in the next Olympic Games under their own flag is at serious risk, although they could present themselves under the Olympic flag, as independent athletes, as will happen with Russian athletes. That would be a very hard blow to Lukashenko's image at a time when demonstrations are once again taking over the streets after winter.

Chinese-style Democracy

In a context of a general lack of knowledge about China in Latin America, it is not only that there is no such thing as a Chinese-style democracy; it is that it is a mistake to believe that the Chinese model is better just because it may be more effective. Democratic systems are neither infallible nor perfect because they’re based on freedom, checks and balances, rule of law, participation, transparency and human rights. And China's effectiveness stems precisely from the absence of all these attributes.

The return of politics

The failure of tough policies, already anticipated in Cuba and then in Venezuela, reinforces the return to a policy strategy, now with Joe Biden. If the hawks criticized Obama's policy for its apparent lack of results, now the doves are in a position to ask the same questions in the face of the same reality. Neither Venezuela nor Cuba is any closer to a return to democracy, each with its own specificities and contexts, than they were in January 2017 when Trump came to power.

An assault on the heart of liberal democracy

Those outside the United States who value democracy and human rights, for the US’s own sake and because of its power and influence across the world, have expressed tremendous concern. The elected leaders of many democratic countries, as well as intellectuals and activists from outside the US, have not hesitated to condemn Donald Trump´s clear incitement of his supporters to hate and insurrection. The Organization of American States also condemned the mob violence.

China, more prosperous and autocratic

On December 3, political scientist Minxin Pei delivered the 17th annual Seymour Martin Lipset Lecture on Democracy in the World. Pei’s lecture, “Totalitarianism’s Long Dark Shadow Over China,” was presented by the Embassy of Canada to the United States and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

A call to democratic dispositions

To ensure a stable democracy moving forward, perhaps we should pay heed to some pages of our own past, and actively work to preserve our democratic dispositions. Habits, after all, are formed by practice, and can get lost over time.

The situation of gender and humanitarian aid in the Venezuelan crisis

In Venezuela, the decimation of economic growth destabilizes society, pushing the Maduro regime to continue its abuse of human rights and repression of dissent to remain in power. Without democratic renewal, it is unlikely that conditions will improve in Venezuela. In response, humanitarian aid must weigh the crisis’ consequences for different demographics, especially women. Targeting vulnerable socioeconomic groups requires greater coordination and deployment of existing aid infrastructure.

Stand together and hold China accountable or be the next victim

Stand together and hold China accountable or be the next victim The panelists' answers in the 24th Forum 2000 on what to do to fight the human rights violations in China also somehow fit into the four things Timothy Garton Ash highlighted in the Forum 2000’s opening: “If we have these four: truth, solidarity, strategy, and responsibility, there will be brighter times ahead”. However, the discussion made clear that now is the time to act. Now is the time to stand by the Hong Kong democratic movement, now is the time to recognize the genocide in Xinjiang and to fight to defend international human rights standards. Silence is complicit.

Democracy Day in the Time of the Pandemic

Recognized every September 15, International Day of Democracy is promoted by the United Nations to raise global awareness of democratic principles. The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored both the fragility and importance of democratic institutions in addressing the economic, political, and public health crises facing much of the world.

Candidates for the Human Rights Council election practice transparency and accountability

However, the non-cooperation of some states, obvious yet again on this occasion, was, as the French human rights ambassador Francois Croquette put it, “the elephant in the room”. The fact that Bolivia, Cuba, Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, and Senegal declined the invitation to participate in the discussion, reflects one aspect that explains why the HRC has been criticized. Some countries have been mocking the international human rights protection mechanisms by sitting on the HRC while at the same time blatantly violating their citizens’ human rights back home.

Milada Horáková and the remembrance for the victims of totalitarianism

Horáková was a pioneer of human rights activism and an emblematic figure in the defense of democracy in the then Czechoslovakia. The book «Milada Horáková: Defender of Human Rights and Victim of Totalitarianisms» by historian Ricardo López Göttig is an invitation to remember this brave woman and to embrace the noble ideals she defended, for which she first suffered imprisonment in the Nazi concentration camp in Terezin and eventually was executed by the communists.

Georgia: a democracy under Russian occupation for 12 years

On 7th August, for the 12th anniversary of the Russian occupation of Georgia, the Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in cooperation with the Middle East Institute's Frontier Europe Initiative, organized a webinar on the worrying situation generated by the Russia-Georgia conflict in 2008. A short but intense war caused by a cross-border territory, South Ossetia, contested between the Russian Federation and Georgia, which has a very heavy historical legacy and it still affects negatively the Ossetian and Georgian people, victims of the violence perpetrated by Russian troops.

Cuba and the Resolution 60

«Cuba's lack of commitment to the Universal System of Human Rights» (in Spanish: «La falta de compromiso de Cuba con el Sistema Universal de Derechos Humanos»), a report by analysts Brian Schapira and Roxana Perel, edited and presented by CADAL, is a superb investigation that crosses the sinuous itinerary of the Cuban government in human rights matters, parting from a moment of change and inflection in the main international body created by the United Nations to face global human rights challenges.

Cuba’s lack of commitment to the international human rights system

The current outline in English addresses the main ideas and statements included in the report «La falta de compromiso de Cuba con el sistema universal de derechos humanos» (Cuba’s lack of commitment to the international human rights system), originally published in Spanish. To fully understand it, a thorough reading would be required. However, we believe the current summary, to which we have decided to add both the report’s introduction and conclusion sections almost entirely, represents a valuable document that will offer a comprehensive overview of the topics discussed and the conclusions drawn from the original report.

Brazil lights the bonfire of the arts

I write my comment on this hostile environment to the arts and culture in Brazil in a time of coronavirus and social isolation, in which so many of us are sick and several of us have already died, including artists such as Aldir Blanc, Rubem Fonseca, Sérgio Sant’Anna, Moraes Moreira y Flávio Migliaccio. The Bolsonaro government was not in solidarity with any of these losses, preferring to ignore them while continuing with its conservative agenda.

Report on the risk of imagining

The Danish NGO Freemuse has produced a comprehensive report calling it the “State of Artistic Freedom”: a detailed survey of different abuses of the right of expression enshrined in the Universal Charter of Human Rights. It highlights the state of emergency in which thousands of artists and intellectuals live and survive in different parts of the world. There is no ideology, no system, no political regime that does not have its eye on artists.

Threats to the freedom of artistic expression

In the annual report presented on 15 April 2020, Freemuse points out a continuing deterioration of freedom of expression in general and of art in particular, which translates into 711 attacks in 93 countries and shows that art continues to be a hazardous activity that can lead to harassment, censorship, imprisonment and even death. To successfully monitor this development, Freemuse compiles and analyses statistical data, as well as thorough interviews with artists around the world. The comparative analysis allows to identify global trends and recognize those areas where interference is necessary to defend the freedom of artistic expression.

The police in the US have too much power over people

In a context of excessive disorder, it is more difficult than ever to discuss police abuses and enduring racism rationally. Looting and mayhem often produce a political dynamic of escalating polarization. But in politics nothing is foreordained. The United States can find a better way, one that gives the police the incentive and resources they need to work for people.

Colombia: an attack on human rights defenders is an attack on democracy

According to the Bertelsmann Transformation Index of 2020, Colombia is on the right path when it comes to economic growth and democracy, although evident challenges remain. Social and income inequalities are apparent and coupled with consistent corruption scandals, the population’s faith in the state is plunging.

Freedom of Movement after Covid-19

Of all the controls that people all over the world have accepted with little protest in the name of public health, the prohibition of movement is the most consequential. …[C]ombining trustworthy government information, solidarity with the desperate, and pragmatic technology would surely be an improvement over the mass lockdowns in place in much of the world.

Cuba and its Narcissus State

In the exact sense of the Narcissus myth, the Cuban state may drown in the attempt to kiss the constructed and projected image of itself in an era previous to instant and globalised information. In the post-Covid-19 world, states need more than mirrors. They need effiicency.

Fernández’s March 1 speech before the Legislative Assembly

(The Global Americans) The general formula of establishing good and strong institutions to serve the public are the inspiration of democratic norms. But there is still a long way ahead to discover what will work for Alberto Fernández and what shape his democratic policies will take.

The new Uruguayan government and the regional defense of democracy

From the perspective of the commitment to human rights, the decision of the new Uruguayan authorities -that will assume office next March 1- to not include the region’s autocrats in the swearing in ceremony is consistent with their values. It speaks badly of an exemplary democracy to give “equal treatment and respect” to leaders in other countries that were not elected through free, fair and competitive elections.

Human Rights Watch World Report 2020: Chile

(The Global Americans) In recent months, there has been an increasing focus on human rights when discussing the events taking place in Chile. In its report, HRW emphasizes the human rights abuses during last year’s protests committed by Chile’s Carabineros. It also shows how authorities responded to this challenge and the progress (or lack thereof) of these initiatives. It also pays attention to human rights issues that have had a longer history in the country and that continue to affect minorities.

Morales’ mandate in Guatemala comes to an end, Human Rights Watch examines the country

(The Global Americans) On January 14, during his inauguration ceremony held in Guatemala City, Giammattei vindicated his promise of handling corruption and endemic violence in the country with a “hard hand.” To this end, he proposed a law initiative to denominate “maras and gangs as terrorist groups.”

Argentina’s controversial foreign policy

(Global Americans) Under Argentina’s new government, foreign policy decisions based more on ideological affinity than on greater pragmatism could bare serious consequences for the country, more so when dealing with non-democratic countries.

Meanwhile, Colombia is also convulsed

In the last turn of events, President Duque agreed to convene the leaders who ignited the protests. The next few days will be key to see if the situation is radicalized or if a consensual exit from the agitation is achieved.

Bolivia prepares for elections under great uncertainty

The way of Evo Morales to present himself as a candidate for president for the fourth consecutive time was not simple. Anyway, Evo has good cards to show. Among its advantages is economic stability and social improvements that occurred since its assumption. But several polls agree that if Evo does not win in the first round he would lose in the second against Carlos Mesa.

Brazil’s red flags

Brazil encompasses many of the problems that affect the region: corruption, street violence, cases of police abuse, and entrenched stereotypes in society that make all these problems in turn become more serious in minorities. In this regard, both Bolsonaro's sayings and his lack of commitment to the progressive agenda do not help to solve the structural problems of Brazil and the country seems to be going in the opposite direction to which it should go.

Migration crises and regional governance: The cases of Europe, North America and South America

Agreements in which destination countries, which are usually developed democracies, pay for not having to accept more migrants, are not what humanitarian advocates who argue in favor of international cooperation to face migration crises usually have in mind. However, cooperation to restrict immigration is more common worldwide than is cooperation in a liberal direction.

Sounds hard, doesn’t it?

(7 Miradas) The phrase that best suits these calculations is the one of Ian Fleming when he described the James Bond novels: “they are beyond the probable, but not beyond the impossible.”

The two diplomacies in Cuba: the complacent and the committed

The list of complacent would be long, for example, those of democratic countries whose officials never received any nomination for the Award for Committed Diplomacy in Cuba, so it is as if they were not there. And most worrying, after the delivery of the last edition of the Prize for the period 2016-2018, is the setback that some embassies recorded.

Piñera, PROSUR and autocratic China

(The Global Americans) A month after promoting the establishment of PROSUR, Chilean President Sebastián Piñera contradicted the central principles of the new regional bloc during a trip to China.

A dubious referendum on a (slightly) revised constitution shows growing opposition to the revolution in Cuba

(The Global Americans) Given the significant numbers of votes against the reform, the results of the referendum call into question the unanimity on which Castro and the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) have always attempted to stake the legitimacy of the revolution.

On Parole: 29 years after the Velvet Revolution

We must thank Michael Zantovsky, current executive director of the Václav Havel Library, for the awe, the laughter, the criticism, the almost intimate talk, and the slight psychological detachment provoked by some of the snippets narrated in the life of his friend. Zantovsky has privileged information of Havel and (almost) does not hold back, doing to all human beings a favor.

The G20, civil society, and democratic commitment

(Global Americans) At a time when democracy is regressing globally, it’s crucial for civil society to step up and affirm international commitment to democracy and solidarity with victims of authoritarianism. This message would have been especially well received in Argentina, which is still healing from its brush with dictatorship. If civil society continues to fail to do so, the G20 can hardly make a difference in its original goal: improving the welfare of the most vulnerable people around the world.

Argentina is walking a thin red line

One year from primary elections, the future of Argentina is torn between economic stagnation, the debate over the decriminalization of abortion, and the corruption of the Kirchner years.

Artistic Freedom Around the World

In the specific case of Cuba, the report questions the fact that artistic freedom on the island is subject to the aims of the Revolution and everything that is not framed within this premise is censored and repressed.

Mogherini, the European Union, and Cuba

(The Global Americans) It would be relevant to know the expectations of the High Representative of the European Union in the dialogue on human rights with Cuba.

Parliamentary Diplomacy and Foreign Policy in Human Rights

(Perfil) Legislators can submit draft declarations condemning humanrights violations in dictatorial countries and ask for declarations from theirrespective governments in intergovernmental organizations; denouncecorrupt electoral processes that are neither fair nor transparent inautocratic regimes; and recognize the work and initiatives of democraticactivists whose lives are at risk.

An Act of Remembrance and Solidarity

From this year forward, the Argentine capital will be a pioneer city in Latin America as it commemorates the victims of totalitarianism every 23rd of August. Someone who will always be in our thoughts on this day will be Cecilia de la Torre, who passed last December.

Cubans’ motorcycle diary woes

(Latin America Goes Global) Unlike their Latin American counterparts, Cubans face unique challenges traveling and emigrating within Latin America. And that doesn’t include the trouble leaving the island.

Rational Migration Policy in a Xenophobic World

(Latin America Goes Global) If Argentina were to help foment a global trend in xenophobia it would be worrisome, and surprising. The country has one of the most open migration regimes in the world.

Reflections on the Global Think Tank Summit

(Perfil/Buenos Aires, Argentina) The message I heard in Montreal was dire, both for the liberal values Cadal embodies and for the ability of think tanks and other civil society organizations to have any sort of effect on the world. However, I thought of reasons for optimism about Cadal´s ability to do good work even in the current difficult context.

The European Union, Cuba and Human Rights

Without a Cuban gesture towards a more open political system, it does not make sense to discuss an agreement since the one party regime of Raúl Castro would not approve any improvement in the area of human rights. Thus, the negotiations between the EU and Cuba started rather poorly if we believe there was ever any genuine interest by the EU in achieving any progress regarding a more open political system in the island.

A Too Big Reward for China

The perception that China rewards loyalty is wrong. Not only is it doubtful that kowtowing to China will bring short-term benefits but, on the contrary, it is rather quite possible that we’ll end up paying a high price for such policy in the future. If today’s decisions are shaping our future, then granting China with market economy status will surely be a nail in the coffin for Argentina.

Fidel Castro and the Integrity of Estela de Carlotto in the Defence of Human Rights

(Infobae) A human rights figure cannot be indifferent towards human rights violations that take place in the remaining dictatorships nor they can ignore such evident facts to defend the indefensible.

Human Rights Defended by Dictatorships?

(Latin America Goes Global) Recently, a third of the members of the UN Human Rights Council were renewed with China, the biggest dictatorship in the world, accumulating no less than 180 votes which gives proof to the assumption that several developed democracies voted in China's favour.

Waiting for a little gesture from Raul Castro

(El País/Spain) If Raúl Castro truly wants Obama to have a bigger support in Congress to lift the embargo, he has to provide a gesture on his part which could include repealing Law 88. Since this wouldn’t involve the political risk of making a reform which stems from the recognition of the exercise of fundamental rights. If Raúl Castro doesn’t even repeal Law 88, this might be because he feels very confident that the dictatorship he installed with his brother Fidel is entirely safe from international pressure and questionings.

François Hollande, a man without heart?

When the last Universal Periodic Review of Cuba was held in Geneva, France recommended to the government of Raul Castro to ensure freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, and the free activity of human rights defenders, independent journalists and political opponents. Now,what value does this recommendation have when France validates the repression of those rights that is has asked Cuba to guarantee?

Is this the end of the Cuban dictatorship?

The Cuban regime uses a similar argument as China to justify its rhetorical model of "socialist, local, original, democratic and participatory development" and keep the dictatorship unchanged. In fact, during its Universal Periodic Review at the UN Human Rights Council, held on May 1st, 2013, the Cuban dictatorship affirmed that it does not accept any universal model of democracy.

Human rights, North Korea and Latin America

Despite of not having the communications of the developed democracies during the Universal Periodic Review of North Korea at least the majority of the Latin American countries voted on November 18th in favor of the critical resolution about the situation of human rights in this country and like that the political division of the region was shown again.

The constitutional debate from a citizens perspective

The Constitutional Consensus has several important added values. The participating citizens begin to grant meaning to specific and historic information concerning constitutional topics. This has led them to gather ideas, texts and documents relation to the constitutional history of Cuba as well as from other parts of the world.

Burma`s Transition to Democracy

Testimony on the «II ForoAlternativo» to the CELAC Summit in Havana: a political success

Repression in Cuba: Indifference is Unacceptable

The CELAC, the Cuban regime and the defense of democracy

Latino-Cuban Dialogue

Latino-Cuban Dialogue is a quarterly publication (in Spanish) of the Program of International Democratic Solidarity (Puente Democrático) of the Center for the Opening and Development of Latin America (CADAL), with the objective of generating an exchange of ideas between figures of civil society, academics and analysts of Latin America and actors of the Cuban civil movement, that will help to reflect on distinct themes that contribute to a scenario of political opening and democratic transition in Cuba.

Human Rights and Dictatorships at the UN

The Council has 47 member states, regionally elected by a majority of the UN countries. For the election of the members of the UN Human Rights Council, the contribution to the protection and promotion of human rights in the country should be taken into account. Now, regarding some of the countries that have just been elected to serve on this body, like Saudi Arabia, Cuba, China, Vietnam, and Russia, it remains clear that the fulfillment of its goal is unfeasible. Can there be a greater contradiction than a Human Rights Council that incorporates dictatorships?

Barómetro Legislativo 2012-2013 - Executive Summary

Who killed Cuban dissident Oswaldo Payá?

New Zealand: Tradition and Necessity

The ranking published by CADAL deals with three matters of paramount importance in today’s world: democracy, markets and transparency. They are closely linked to the construction of that sought by many, both governments and citizens: a well-governed, prosperous country in constant progression, where law, security and political certainty rule. A country that responds to the individual and society-wide aspirations of its two most interested partners: the political community and civil society.

Syria and the political divisions in Latin America

The UPR of Syria revealed an evident split in the region. On the one hand, Venezuela, Cuba and Ecuador are the leading countries that support authoritarian practices, while Chile, Brazil, Uruguay and Peru follow the European Union's pro-market, democratic model.

A Regional To Do List

While the developed countries struggle with serious debt crises (as in the case of Europe), stagnation (like Japan), or listless recuperation (the United States), the Latin American economies are alive and kicking. Yes, the region's growth will slow in 2012, but it will still be significant and above the global average. The region is reliving the 2008-2009 crisis, when the greater part of countries in the region endured the considerable slowdown in the world's economy in a more than satisfactory manner.

Interview: Fernando Henrique Cardoso

Chile: education and progress

Don’t Cry for Me, Cristina

Argentina’s Progressive parties are no longer an alternative to the Kirchner government.

The recent support of the self-defined “progressive” sectors of the Argentine legislature for the nationalization of the majority share of YPF shows they are no longer an alternative to the Kirchner government, in political or economic terms.

The Day Mr. K died

International customs, Buenos Aires airport, Argentina, noon, october 27. I turn on my cell phone and the message "Kirchner dead" appears. It takes me a while to fully grasp it, and when I do, I look around and begin to feel a mixture of tense calm and bewilderment among the customs officials. A lot of things run through my head during these minutes. It had been a long time since I had felt this particular sense of contained crisis that I have experienced so many times in this country.

On probation: the release of political prisoners in Cuba

Immediately one can listen to the optimistic readings on political changes in Cuba, as if ignoring the repressive regime's skill to hold in power for more than half a century. However, so long as first generation human rights are considered a crime, nothing will change in that country and those who are being released can be sent back to prison anytime.

Here we go again: Nicaragua-Honduras-re-election

The Honduran Coup is Still a Coup: But Where Was Everybody Before?

Let me say upfront, unequivocally: what occurred on June 28, 2009, in Honduras was a coup and should be condemned for the violation of constitutional, democratic rule that it is. And unlike the street coups that removed Presidents Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada (Bolivia) or Lucio Gutiérrez (Ecuador), this one was positively 1970s-style retrograde: the marching of military officers into President José Manuel Zelaya Rosales’ residence, his forced removal (or kidnapping as he called it) at gun point.

The futile obsession of total control

It is paradoxical that Argentina, being a country with an economic history in which these events have been repeated ad nauseam and with awful results, still insists in this model. It would be very useful for the government to look at some of its neighbors, where progressive and center-left leaders have demonstrated to have learned from history and today navigate with relative comprehensiveness the stormy waters of the global economic crisis.

Cristina Left in Cuba What Little Credibility She Had For An Honest Defense of Human Rights

Kirchnerism has exploited the issue of human rights politically, and lacks the most minimal concern for the subject. Cristina's trip to Cuba leaves no doubt about it, especially when, to top it off, she was received by the elderly dictator Fidel Castro, and had the delicateness of considering that event “a distinction for the entire Argentinean people”.

The Rio Group blocks democracy in Cuba

The Rio Group is a Latin American mechanism of political articulation and diplomatic negotiation which was created in 1986 and currently consists of 23 member countries. The Rio Group decided to incorporate the Cuban dictatorship as a full-fledged member during the presidential summit of Mercosur.

Institutions in danger: the debate to nationalize the savings should not be a mere legislative procedure

Furthermore, on the eve of legislative elections in one year, those affected by the kirchnerist proposal could vote massively for opposition candidates in October 2009 and then the governing party would be lethally hurt if it looses its own majority.

The crisis contains a political risk for Latin America

It finally happened. The moment has come to start shivering. The economic debacle that departing from Wall Street affected the whole world has become so intensive that the question is no longer if it will impact on Latin American economies, but rather in which way that will happen.

Economic decisions that can’t be politized

The major impact of peronism was always registered in the field of politics, as a heritage of the great capacity demonstrated by its founder in this area. But as also in many other areas, a disproportionate force in one sense always has to pay a price in another sense.

After the farms, the markets set another limit to the K administration

The golden sector of the Argentine administration (Sergio Massa-Martín Redrado) finally decided to pay the debt to the Club of Paris. Cristina was applauded by the industrial establishment that came together at Casa Rosada as when Néstor announced to pay cash to the IMF in 2005.

New World

In the midst of the storm, emerging countries –and Latin America in particular- are facing a novel challenge: the strong appreciation of their currencies against the dollar. Indeed. Unlike past crises, when a sneeze coming from Wall Street sparked capital flight and devaluation, nowadays the region’s governments see their currencies gain value against the greenback, to the chagrin of its export businesses.

Reflections on the Situation in Tibet

Cunning Bolivarian socialism

The plurinational illusion

Foreword - Boitel is alive - Testimony on the Current Cuban Political Prison

"Antúnez" and over three hundred political prisoners who are currently serving time in Cuba stand firm in their commendable struggle for freedom in their country, and pay tribute to the memory of Pedro Luis Boitel with their brave example. The democratic Cuba of the future will no doubt remember Boitel as one of its great heroes and Jorge Luis García Pérez "Antúnez" will be a testimony of life in the struggle against oppression.

Venezuela’s Uncertain Future

The Continent of Memory and Oblivion

Foreword to 'Boitel Vive'