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The Cuban Justice Minister's Lies

According to Oscar Manuel Silvera Martínez, passage of the Constitutional Protection Law, postponed until December 2021, is neither necessary nor prudent.

La Habana
Justice Minister Oscar Manuel Silvera Martínez (right), on national television.
Justice Minister Oscar Manuel Silvera Martínez (right), on national television. acn

Humberto López, a lawyer and journalist for Cuban television, closed out the year with some brazen lying, as on December 23, he invited the current Minister of Justice, Oscar Manuel Silvera Martínez, to his program "Hacemos Cuba."

Silvera Martínez, a former Supreme Court magistrate, argued that at this time the approval of the Constitutional Protection Law, postponed until December 2021, is not necessary or prudent, since the Supreme Court issued Instruction 245 in June 2019, " that very quickly enabled (...) people to exercise those actions, those demands". He also stated, totally ignoring the intention of the Instruction in question, that "the constitutional rule is a directly applicable and invocable legal one," such that it should not hinder the courts from admitting claims presented under the aforementioned rules.

Next, revealing that he had not even read Instruction 245, and does not understand the interpretative rules governing the legal provisions, and demonstrating utter subordination to Cuba's machinery of lies, the presenter stated that "the existence of this Instruction of the Supreme Court (…) allows (…) one to bring claims against possible violations of those [constitutional] rights in the courts because, I repeat, that Instruction is there."

Instruction 245 does exist, and may be invoked as a basis of law, but only when one brings a complaint alleging that he has been deprived of his property in violation of the law or justice by means of an administrative resolution, as stated in its section ONE. This Instruction is not applicable to any other type of claim.

Thus, the justifications cited by the minister and presenter are clearly false. What both are trying to do is hoodwink the people, in accord with State Security and the Communist Party leadership, which, on December 17, through the National Assembly, approved a new Legislative Schedule that puts off the Constitutional Rights Claim Law until 2022, and the Assembly and Demonstration Law until 2023.

Both provisions were to be implemented no later than October 2020, but the crisis, exacerbated by the effects of Covid-19, MSI, 27N and a certain civic unrest, did not make this advisable.

Apparently, for Cuba's ruling elite, it is imprudent to grant the people the right to file suits to exercise their rights, or offer them expeditious ways to bring about the change the country needs, even if this is in a civic manner. The leadership is clearly incapable of steering Cuba in a direction that guarantees its citizens freedom.

In fact, the Minister of Justice himself, Oscar Manuel Silvera Martínez, is one more example of the failed course that has been charted. Whether as the head of the Office and Vice-president of the Supreme Court, or as the maximum adviser on criminal matters of a political nature, his internal discourse has consisted more of political rhetoric than legal principles. In addition, his ties to elites in Cuba's Intelligence bodies - especially Alejandro Castro Espín, former head of Department 24, the Control, Surveillance and Information body - allowed him to hold a high position.

With such a background and experience, it is not difficult to believe that the minister has expressly agreed to publicly insult the intelligence of tens of thousands of lawyers, prosecutors, judges and academics bearing witness to his statements.

Many must have been flabbergasted by the minister's remarks, including veteran magistrate Diaz Tenrreiro; the current Vice-president of the Supreme Court, Farah Saucedo; the respective presidents of provincial courts; the president of the Organization of Collective Law Firms, Ariel Mantecón Ramos; and constitutionalists at the University of Havana Law School, such as the renowned Andry Matilla Correa, and Yuri Pérez Martínez, together with the prosecutor Juan Mendoza Díaz.

What justice is there for Cuba's independent journalists, intellectuals, artists, activists, dissidents and dissenters who pay daily for their ideas with violations of their human rights, like threats, incarceration, unemployment, being prevented from entering or leaving the country, defamation and damage to their physical and mental health?

Contrary to what the Minister of Justice alleges, there is no law protecting them.

On January 31, 2020, seven months after instruction 245 was promulgated, journalist Iliana Hernández received from the Second Civil and Administrative Chamber of the People's Provincial Court of Havana the body’s dismissal of a violation of her right to leave the country, as the judges ruled that "the charge should not be admitted, as the laws implementing the precept have not yet been promulgated in our country ..."
Have these magistrates entirely dissociated themselves from legality, or are lies just now part of our everyday life?


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