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Cuba signed two major human rights treaties at the UN in New York The country’s Foreign Minister, Felipe Perez Roque, signed the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, on Thursday 29 February 2008. The treaties commit Cuba to respect rights including freedom of expression and association, and freedom of movement.
"Amnesty International urges Cuba to accept the full range of obligations under these covenants, because human rights norms are the legal expression of the essential rights that every person is entitled to as a human being."

The covenants were signed just days after 76-year-old Raul Castro was unanimously selected to succeed his brother Fidel as leader by Cuba’s National Assembly.

Cuba has recently released four political prisoners arrested during a crackdown on the opposition in 17 & 18 March 2003. Reporters Jose Ramon and Alejandro Gonzalez, dissident Omar Pernet and trade unionist Pedro Alvarez were among 75 prominent figures convicted of being mercenaries in the pay of the US government. Amnesty International also welcomed their release considering it "a very positive step".

Amnesty International has also urged the international community, and in particular the US, to abolish policies and practices, such as the US embargo, which impinge on the human rights of Cubans.

Center for Democracy in the Americas believe that the moment to reform and renew U.S. policy toward the Americas has come.

Posted by: nigelhunt

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