Publicado: Tue, 28 Jul, 2015

The last frontier of the repression

This entry is also avaliable in: Spanish

Aeropuerto José Martí (demo) Havana. The trips of Cuban opponents to the exterior put to the overdraft the subordination from the national institutionalism a flowchart of power that responds exclusively to political interests of the ruling régime.

The repressive scaffolding even comprises the airport facilities, where the tentacles of the Ministry of the Interior .MININT-, transform the customs offices into barracks of extrajudicial interrogations for members of the civil society that are invited to participate abroad in workshops, exchanges and training courses.

The detentions to seize and harassment lapse under the “confrontation premise to the terrorism originated by small groups of Miami and the subversive character activities “, contained in the Objectives and Functions of the General Customs of the Republic. However…

The dark hand behind the Customs jurisdiction.

According to the Ordinance Law 162, the Customs is part of the system of State Control and it acts in function of it, reconciling the control measures with those of facilitation of the trade prioritizing in the steps and administrative procedures, this approach in front of the formalities.

It constitutes the national control body in the frontier and of the internal activity linked to the external trade, in function of the security of the national economy, as well as the fiscal collection and the statistics of external trade, through the state politicians of Customs jurisdiction for the traffic of travelers, goods and means of transport.

Objectively, it works as a protector of the society before the illegal traffic of weapons, explosive, drugs and chemical substances precursors, of objects of the national patrimony, protected species and others. It preserves the national economy as safeguards of the commercial politics’ execution, the confrontation to the escape and fiscal evasion and other economic frauds. It gathers, it processes and it offers information of economic order. It collects taxes to the budget settled down in the fiscal politics of the state.

On the legal status of approaching travelers for political or migratory questions, Bachelor Wilfredo Vallín, President of the Cuban Legal Association .AJC-, explains that the problem arises soon after the abilities that certain entities and officials are attributed.
“In the case of the Customs, the operation regulations with regard to the law, allow to make inquiries on the pieces of luggage, it establishes a control on the objects that are transported, but they are not entitled to investigate about ideological or migratory topics, and much less in a hostile atmosphere “, he commented.

He argues that in this situation, functions are extrapolated in flagrant violation of the law that clearly states that nobody or official is beyond what it is dictated. When the jurisdiction limits are overcome, this is inferred in some crime typology. So much that in the police stations, when a prisoner arrives without the enough elements to make the detention records, the Reception officials refuse to receive the case because they know that under such conditions the detention is carried out in an illegal status.

So that a legal detention exists, there has to be a record, otherwise you could even denounce as a kidnapping intent. In the interrogations of the Customs it is also needed a detention records to retain the travelers against their will.

Usually, those who don’t assume implications for actions that are derived from the abuse of power, count with a kind of a hidden imperium that confers the necessary impunity to work in favor of a certain force.

If the Customs stops the opponents and it presses them to know things about their destinations, who finances their trips or what objective has the trip, it is because they follow orders from the Department of the Security of State .DSE-. It also happens that they are the same officials of the Security, in the uniform of the Customs who carry out the detentions”, he said.

Mechanisms of subjection and victims of the repression.

For the experiences of several victims it has been established that the detentions are not at random or regulatory, but rather they are carried out directed to groups or specific people. The computers of the entity have identified, marked with the stereotype of CR .Counter Revolutionary -, the travelers who belong to the community opponent to the political system.

At world level the resource of “Habeas Data” is carried out as a kind of an instrument defending the human rights -, to claim to exclude or to know data that affect or dehumanize without logical basements certain citizens. The Cuban government doesn’t recognize this important regulation for the use of nationals.

From the perspicacity of Bachelor Amado Calixto, Vice-president of AJC, the main tool in the concretion of repressive facts lay in the lack of knowledge of the Cubans about the laws and rights protecting them.

“People are entitled and they have to know them, because this is the only way they will be able to face with success the circumstances that can arise, those that we know will unexpectedly arrive “, he commented.

Among the maneuvers they originate to take advantage of the common ignorance of the travelers, article 62 of the Law of Customs is manipulated to confiscate the retained belongings, trying to confuse the proprietors alleging abandonment. Most of people ignore that the term for the loss of the belongings for abandonment, is of sixty days.

To several independent journalists they have tried to confiscate work means upon their return to the country. In some cases the reclamations have not progressed, others have had better luck.

Last February, Odelín Alfonso Torna, web master of the digital site cubaprensalibre.com, was seized a laptop and two telephones. Days later, he finally recovered them, but the computer apparently was sabotaged, since, not very later it began to have technical problems.

The excessive and direct use of the force and influence on the part of security officials appear as another coercion factor that is conjugated with the travelers’ legal illustration. It becomes recurrent that the opponents are retained in the airports by short and subjected periods to interrogations for individuals that not even show an identifying credential from the body they belong to.

Nevertheless, the Law of Penal Procedure, aided by Article 63 of the Constitution, allows refusing to respond any interrogation type, although this it is carried out by an authority of high hierarchy. The use of the force or of intimidation to get declarations constitutes a violation sanctioned by the tribunals.

“Nobody is forced to say anything, simply they can say without fear that they will not respond on any matter and that the law protects them in such a sense”, Calixto informs.

On June 29, psychologist Marisleydis Sánchez Vargas and the writer and independent journalist Ernesto Pérez Chang were unavoidably interviewed by officials of Customs on political and migratory topics in the International Airport José Martí of the capital, when they were about to travel for qualification purposes.

“They asked me questions on the financing of the expenses. They tried to harass me saying me that I had double nationality and that I was hiding it. They mentioned the name of people attending the same course, who I did not know; that is to say, they were for some time” checking me, commented Sánchez then.

When they returned, on July 5, there was a similar situation. They emptied the few belongings she brought, including the garments of dressing, and they revised them minutely “as if they were looking for drugs or it was about a terrorist.”

The list of opponents that suffered repression on the part of customs officials is already quite long, but no organization is still given to the task of emitting a specific report that denounces each case. In the meantime, the phenomenon repeats time and again, some of the victims are Elizardo Sánchez, Roberto de Jesús Guerra, José Antonio Fornaris, Carlos Ríos, Yaquelín Cutiño, Yaremis Flores, Alejandro Tur Valladares, Juan Carlos Linares, Andy Sierra, Yusmila Reina, Odelín Alfonso Torna, José Luis Pérez León, Marisleydis Sánchez and Ernesto Pérez Chang, among many more.

What to do?

The two main directives of AJC recommend denouncing the violations, not to remain silent and automatically transform it into victim-accomplice of the crime. They can do it before the National Revolutionary Police, in a Prosecutor’s office or any other State instance in obligation to take care of the civic rights.
In an almost redundant way, both advise to study first of all our laws.

“They can contact us and come to the association, we are in the best disposition to help them to learn how, we have conducted courses to help and we will repeat them again if necessary”, Vallín affirms.

The idea has already been shared with the DSE. They are in disposition of receiving us in a classroom, also, to the members of the repressive bodies, “because many of them are also sunk in the ignorance, so that they know that what they do is illegal and that it can bring them about with consequences.”

“The fundamental thing is to understand that they – DSE – are not going to look for an information they don’t know already, they make it to intimidate, to scare, to destabilize the opposition”, Calixto concluded.

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