Thursday, October 4, 2007

Declaration of Retribution (Part 2)

So, speaking of international crimes against humanity, it seems that Unidad Cubana also has that covered. According to their website, they already have a constitution written up for the "Independent Court of a Free Cuba." This is the future venue where Unidad Cubana envisions "justice" to be served against the "genocide" of the Cuban government. I'm sure they can come up with other heinous charges, especially if the "independent" court and its judges are appointed by them.

Unidad Cubana appears regularly on Radio Mambi, with Armando Perez-Roura, and they talk about the usual things: how they are gonna have tribunals and charge everyone who they consider accomplices to the Cuban government, even the press and several other foreign companies. In some respects, it should even include the American government. But, they sure love going over how they cannot let anyone go unpunished for "los mártires" (martyrs), and all the time they have been in exile, almost 50 very long years. And, they never forget to reassure us in the end that they don't seek revenge, just justice.

But, saying that you want justice is not the same as doing justice. There's a fine line that divides our legal system from acts of retribution. One of those essential divisions is an impartial jury or judge. By appointing an impartial arbiter in any dispute, one takes a very positive step towards seeking justice. But, in the case of Unidad Cubana and its "Independent Court", there's no mention at all of appointing impartial judges to investigate these serious crimes.

Despite saying that the "Independent Court" constitution "reflects a summary" of such noble international tribunals like Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia, they still forget essential parts of those statutes that clearly describe how impartial judges are chosen. And, it's so odd that Unidad Cubana omits these important parts because their website actually includes the recognized statutes to the international tribunals of Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia. So why did they leave it out?

The statutes that appoint judges to the International Criminal Court, and the tribunals mentioned above are basically the same. The judges are appointed through votes of SEVERAL participating members of the UN, or members of an international assembly who have ratified the statutes in question. The judges are also nominated from a list of those who meet several high standards, and who are recognized and approved by many nations. This seems fair and easy to understand. So, it's baffling why Unidad Cubana has left this open to speculation, unless of course they want more control over the appointments. If this is the case, then how can they convince anyone that they really want justice done?

Another point that astounds me in the constitution of the "Independent Court of a Free Cuba", is the part that states the crimes that will be investigated. Yes, genocide is there. But, also the "crime of apartheid."

Those who are familiar with the Cuba debate should be aware that many exiles accuse the Cuban government of apartheid, specifically a "tourist apartheid" where foreign visitors enjoy luxuries and basic services far superior than what Cuban residents have. "Tourism apartheid" in Cuba is a fact, but there's some trouble when the concept reaches international law. There's no "crime of tourism apartheid", unlike the recognized "crime of apartheid."

According to the UN resolution titled "International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid", the crime of apartheid relates to "domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group." The same applies to the definition used by the International Criminal Court. This kind of crime is not occurring in Cuba.

But, if Unidad Cubana has it way in a future free Cuba, it seems that international standards won't matter much. Basically, they plan to do as they wish, and as they see fit. That's not justice.

[Part 1]

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