A Controversy: Views on Human Rights in Cuba

Two Different Views on Human Rights in Cuba:


One view from Aviva Chomsky, USA.


Another from Arnold August.


Here is one optic from Aviva Chomsky, from a recent interview:

[Greg] WILPERT: Well of course one of those things is one of the reasons why Nelson Mandela when he was released, the first country that he visited was Cuba, to I guess thank Cuba for its role in the changes in South Africa. But let’s turn to some of the more controversial aspects of Castro. One of the things his critics always bring up is the issue of human rights in Cuba. Of course when they talk about human rights they’re only referring to political human rights, not social human rights. So in a nutshell, how would you characterize Castro’s role in guaranteeing or failing to guarantee those types of human rights, political and social in Cuba?


[Aviva] CHOMSKY: Well first of all I would just point out that the issue of human rights is an issue not only in Cuba but everywhere in Latin America. And that it’s true that there have been violations, well we can talk about on several different levels about what’s going on in Cuba. But it’s true that there have been violations of individual, civil, and political rights in Cuba. But if you compare those to the kinds of violations of individual, civil, and human rights elsewhere in Latin America, you see an exponential difference.


For information on Aviva Chomsky and the transcripts of the full interview

See here :



And here is an extract of Arnold’s view on Human Rights in Cuba as published on March 13, 2016 in Global Research:


The Massive US Media and Political War


There are several aspects to this cultural war, in its broadest sense, which is presently being waged against Cuban socialist culture. One of these themes is the massive US media war and political disinformation campaign on the issue of civil rights in Cuba as part of human rights. The US narrative is that indirectly or directly – and grudgingly – it acknowledges Cuba’s accomplishments in the realm of social rights, as a subset of human rights, with regard to health services, education, culture and sports. However, it accuses Cuba of violating individual civil rights and political rights, referring, as an example, to the often-cited US-centric double standard of the “right to free speech, free press and protest.” Thus, according to this anecdotal explanation, Cuba is not a democracy, since it violates civil/political rights and, by extension, human rights.


However, civil rights, such as political rights, comprise an important part of the foundation that safeguards and promotes the full spectrum of human rights. The most significant civil right afforded to Cubans – and demanded by Cubans – is to participate in its own political system. This tradition, while not perfect and thus always in evolution, stems back to the collective mass revolutionary struggle leading to the victory of the Cuban Revolution and thus to the people’s political power in January 1959. One cannot forget this history.


Civil Rights


This legacy has continued through many forms while seeking to improve participatory democracy. If Cubans had not had – and did not now have – the capacity to exercise their own political power, how could other human rights have been won and guaranteed? For example, if Cubans had not exercised their individual politics rights in the 1950s to win political power, how would the securing of social rights – such as the right to health, education, culture and sports – have been accomplished in the first place?


Since 1959, the Cuban Revolutionary Government strives to involve the participation of the people to improve these social civil rights. The citizens, for their part, endeavour to strengthen their own real political power to safeguard and upgrade their social/economic/cultural human rights. There is ample space within the Cuban socialist culture for this debate and action to flourish in order to move Cuban socialism from one stage to the next. However, this democracy in motion is ignored by the US ruling circles.


Washington and most of the US mainstream media only recognize those civil political rights as a component part of human rights defined and demanded by what they call Cuba’s “civil society.” This very marginal “opposition” is ideologically and/or financially dependent on the US, which has created it in the first place. Their goal is to act as a US Trojan horse to destroy the Cuban Revolution from within. Of course, this fringe is hardly a basis for undermining the Cuban Revolution. Thus, in order to reinforce the Trojan horse, the US also targets the more than 500,000 self-employed workers.


This growing section of Cuban society is wrongly perceived by Cuba’s neighbours to the North as natural fifth column recruits to the US “way of life and values” (capitalism and dependence on the US) to undermine Cuban socialist culture. The US may underestimate the patriotism of the vast majority of Cubans, including the growing number of self-employed, who the US unjustifiably refers to as the “private sector,” as though they are detached from Cuban society and its socialist culture, which is not the case.


The “civil rights” of US-fabricated opposition and any other sections of the society that can be grafted on to them defy the civil and political rights of the vast majority of the Cuban people.

For the full article, see here :


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