Case Nos. 1742, 1805 and 1834 (Cuba)

Case 1742. April 10, 1972, reporting that various United States citizens that have been resident in Cuba for six years have been trying to obtain their repatriation and have received a reply from the representative of the Republic of Switzerland in Cuba that it has still not received from the Government of Cuba the necessary authorization for their exit.

The Commission considered this communication at its twenty-ninth session (October 1972) and decided: i) to request the Government of Cuba to provide the pertinent information in accordance with Articles 42 and 44 of its Rules of Procedure; ii) to address the Government of the Swiss Confederation requesting that, "to the extent possible, it be good enough to inform the Commission if it is correct that the applications made by many United States citizens, through the Swiss Embassy in Cuba, to obtain authorization to travel to their country of origin (United States) have been excessively delayed."

In implementation of these decision, the Commission wrote to the Governments of Cuba and of Switzerland in notes dated November 1 and 14, 1972 respectively.

The Government of Cuba has so far not replied to the request for information.

The Government of Switzerland replied in the following terms:

"In view of the legs nature of the mandate of protective power (mandat de puissance protectrice), it is not incumbent upon this Government to make to third states or inter-governmental organizations any value judgment on any position of the Government of the State concerning which it exercises its protection. The Government of the Swiss Confederation therefore believes that only the Government of the United States of America is competent to receive the request of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights".

At its thirtieth session (April 1973), the Commission continued its examination of the case and, in view of the terms of the note of the Swiss Government, on the one hand, and the lack of reply from the Government of Cuba, on the other, decided to address the Government of the United States, requesting information in accordance with Articles 42 and 44 of the Rules of Procedure. In implementation of this decision, a note was sent to that Government on June 17, 1973. In a letter dated June 18, 1973, the complainant was informed of the new procedure being used to deal with the matter.

At the thirty-first session (October 1973), the Commission noted that the Government of the United States had not replied to the note of June 17, 1973 and decided to repeat the request for information and to postpone the examination of the case at that session.

The Government of the United States, through its Mission to the OAS, in a note dated December 13, 1973, replied to the request of the Commission and sent information on the steps taken by United States citizens still resident in Cuba to leave that country vis a vis the Swiss representative in Cuba and, in particular, on the status of such negotiations with respect to the relatives of the complainant.

In a letter of December 28, 1973, the Commission transmitted to the complainant the pertinent parts of the information supplied by the Mission of the United States to the OAS.

With that information to hand, the Commission continued its examination of the case at its thirty-second session (April 1974) and decided: a) to request the Government of the United States of America to be good enough to report on the development of the procedure for the exit from Cuba of the persons mentioned in the complaint and b) to request the complainant to state whether she would have any objection to the names of her relatives resident in Cuba being made known to the Cuban Government in a request for information that the CIDH would send to the above-mentioned government in the event that the complainant gave her permission.

In compliance with paragraph a of this decision, the CIDH addressed the Government of the United States on June 3, 1974, and the complainant on April 26, 1974, and informed them of the decision (paragraph b) on the case.

The Government of the United States, in a note dated July 11, 1974, informed the CIDH that, for the time being, it had no new information about the matter to pass on to it, not only with respect to the persons involved in the case but also with respect to the general situation of United States citizens that wished to leave Cuba.

With respect to the complainant, in a letter dated May 4, 1974, she authorized the CIDH to inform the Government of Cuba of the names of her relatives in that country.

On the basis of this information, the CIDH examined the case at its thirty-fourth session (October 1974) and decided: a) to request the Government of Cuba, in accordance with Articles 42 and 44 of its Rules of Procedure, to provide the pertinent information on the situation of the persons individually affected who were mentioned in the complaint and still waiting to leave that country because of the lack of the pertinent authorization of the Cuban authorities and b) to inform the complainant of this decision.

In implementation of the foregoing, the Commission: a) Sent the complainant a letter on November 18, 1974 and b) sent a letter to the Government of Cuba on December 17, 1974.

Case 1805. March 2, 1974, reporting the distressing situation of political prisoners in Cuba. This report was accompanied by a list of 124 prisoners in urgent need of medical treatment and a copy of the same denunciation submitted to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights.

The Commission studied this communication at its thirty-second session (April 1972). In the light of the information on this type of situation, the Commission considered that the communication was admissible without prejudice to the fact that it had already been submitted to the United Nations and decided to transmit the pertinent parts of it to the Government of Cuba with a request for information, in accordance with Articles 42 and 44 of the Rules of Procedure.

In implementation of this decision, the Commission sent a note to the Government of Cuba on June 24, 1974. In a letter dated April 29, 1974, it informed the complainants of this decision.

At the thirty-fourth session (October 1974), bearing in mind the fact that the Government of Cuba had not provided the pertinent information, although the time-limit stipulated in Article 51 of the Rules of Procedure had not yet expired, the Commission decided to repeat to that Government the request that it send the pertinent information.

In this regard the CIDH addressed the Government of Cuba on December 17, 1974.

Case 1834. April 16, 1974, relating to the general status of human rights in Cuba and, in particular, concerning political prisoners. This report was supplemented by extensive documentation and a list of political prisoners including their place of detention, length of sentence, and health conditions.

The Commission decided, at its thirty-second session (April 1974), to transmit to the Government of Cuba the pertinent parts of the denunciation in accordance with Articles 42 and 44 of the Rules of Procedure.

In accordance with this decision, the Commission sent a note to the Government of Cuba on June 3, 1974. In a communication dated May 2, 1974, it informed the complainants of the decision adopted in this case.

At its thirty-fourth session (October 1974), the Commission continued its examination of this case, although the Government of Cuba had not provided the information requested. In that examination, the CIDH took into account the additional information supplied by the complainant, who appeared before it on October 24, 1974, to supplement his denunciation.

As a result of this examination, the CIDH decided to repeat to the Government of Cuba the request that it send the pertinent information and also sent with it the pertinent parts of the additional information provided by the complainant at the hearing held on October 24. It also decided to inform the Government of Cuba of the expiry date of the period stipulated in Article 51 of the Rules of Procedure (180 days) and of the rule of presumption of the truth contained in that Article, which was applicable if the above-mentioned Government did not supply the pertinent information.

In that regard, it sent a letter to the Government of Cuba on December 17, 1974. In a letter dated November 25, 1974, it also informed the complainant of this decision.