"It's perverse that there's a massive crackdown occurring in Cuba just at the moment that the United Nations is examining Cuba's human rights record. The Commission must condemn these abuses, and do so strongly and unequivocally."
In March, the Cuban government rounded up 75 pro-democratic opponents of Castro last month and put them on trial for conspiring with the United States to subvert the one-party communist society born from Castro's 1959 guerrilla revolution.
José Miguel Vivanco, Executive Director of the Americas division of the international Human Rights Watch, the independent, non-governmental organization composed of lawyers, journalists, academics, and country experts, talks to Bill Moyers about the recent crackdown of dissidents in Cuba.
Learn more about International Human Rights and the U.S. government's position on Cuba:
Human Rights Watch
As the largest human rights organization based in the United States, Human Rights Watch conducts fact-finding investigations into human rights abuses in more than 70 countries around the world, publishes those findings in dozens of books and reports every year, and meets with government officials to urge changes in policy and practice at the United Nations, the European Union, in Washington and in capitals around the world. Human Rights Watch is based in New York, with offices in Brussels, London, Moscow, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington.
U.S. Department of State Human Rights Issues
"The sanctions the United States enforces against the Castro regime are not just a policy tool, but a moral statement. It is wrong to prop up a regime that routinely stifles all the freedoms that make us human. The United States stands opposed to such tyranny and will oppose any attempt to weaken sanctions against the Castro regime until it respects the basic human rights of its citizens, frees political prisoners, holds democratic free elections, and allows free speech." President George W. Bush
Read the most recent statements by U.S. officials.
Amnesty International (AI) is a worldwide campaigning movement that works to promote internationally recognized human rights. The mission of AI is to undertake research and action focused on preventing and ending grave abuses of the rights to physical and mental integrity, freedom of conscience and expression, and freedom from discrimination, within the context of their work to promote all human rights.
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Among other things, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights plays the leading role on human rights issues and emphasizes the importance of human rights at the international and national levels; promotes international cooperation for human rights; responds to serious violations of human rights; and promotes the establishment of national human rights infrastructures.
AAAS Human Rights Action Network
Initiated in 1993, the AAAS Human Rights Action Network (AAASHRAN) utilizes electronic mail to inform AAAS members and other subscribers of cases and developments deserving special attention, and to coordinate scientists' efforts to appeal to governments on behalf of their colleagues whose human rights are being violated. The Program has created an online archive to house all of the AAASHRAN alerts issued since 1996. Letters of appeal and concern written by Program staff are also available.
José Miguel Vivanco
Currently the Executive Director of the Americas Division of Human Rights Watch, José Miguel Vivanco holds a Master's degree in Law (LLM) from Harvard Law School. He previously studied law at the University of Chile, and then at Salamanca Law School in Spain. During 1986 and 1987 he worked as an attorney at Human Rights Watch, then known as Americas Watch. From 1987 to 1989, Mr. Vivanco was an attorney for the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States (OAS). In 1990 he founded the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) and functioned as its executive director until August 1994. In September 1994, Josť Miguel Vivanco became executive director of the Americas Division of Human Rights Watch.
Mr. Vivanco has also been an Adjunct Professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center and at the School of Advanced International Studies of John Hopkins University. Mr. Vivanco has received several scholarships and fellowships in the field of human rights, and has authored numerous publications.