Cuba and the Rule of Law

Cuba and the Rule of Law

Cuba and the Rule of Law

Cuba and the Rule of Law

Excerpt

The International Commission of Jurists submits in the present Report the results of its inquiry into the situation of the Rule of Law in Cuba under the revolutionary régime of Dr. Fidel Castro. Dr. Castro and his adherents themselves so describe his rule as revolutionary. The Commission's enquiry has extended over a period of years and has involved not only the examination of official and unofficial documents, but as well the interviewing and careful examination of scores of witnesses to events in Cuba before and after the overthrow of the Batista dictatorship.

The Cuban revolution offers for the consideration of international legal opinion an object lesson of cogent interest. The revolution was born under the sign of freedom and democracy and apparently inspired by the highest principles of constitutional government. Its main objective was to overthrow the cruel and oppressive dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista and to restore the Constitution of 1940. Few revolutionary movements have been welcomed with more satisfaction and have engendered more hopes than that of Fidel Castro. The International Commission of Jurists expressed the prevalent feelings of the participants at the International Congress of Jurists in New Delhi when it addressed in January 1959 a telegram of congratulations and best wishes to the first revolutionary government appointed by Fidel Castro and headed by the distinguished jurist, Dr. José Miró Cardona. There can be no doubt that the Batista régime--cruel, autocratic and corrupt as it undoubtedly was--fell amid universal condemnation.

The Commission's opposition to the Batista régime is well-known. The efforts in 1956 and 1957 to establish an effective national section to fight the injustices in Cuba met with failure due to new and stringent laws which forbade the formation of groups and associations. The Commission nevertheless maintained close relations with lawyers and jurists in Cuba whose support of the Rule of Law was unques-

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