The United States Department of State’s Listing of Cuba as a State Sponsor of Terrorism
Freedom House’s Listing of
as “Not Free” Cuba
Freedom House, the leading organization in the world that ranks states around the world on levels of freedom lists Cuba as “Not Free,” with a 6.5 ranking out of 7, the lowest possible score, for 2013, the latest year available: https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/2014/cuba-0#.VJTt7sABA.
Freedom House observes that
Cuba is a
“one-party system, in which the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) controls all
government and most civil institutions.”
The system is dominated by brothers Fidel and Raul Castro. As Freedom House explains, “All political
organizing outside the PCC is illegal.
Political dissent, whether spoken or written, is a punishable offense,
and dissidents are systematically harassed, detained, physically assaulted, and
frequently sentenced to years of imprisonment for seemingly minor infractions.” The Castro dictatorship held over 100 Cubans
by the end of 2013 as political prisoners after its most recent crackdown on
dissent, according to Freedom House.
News media in
Cuba is “owned
and controlled by the state” while “the independent press is considered
illegal.” Internet access is limited and
heavily censored, according to Freedom House’s ranking. Freedom House notes restrictions on religious
and academic freedom and a lack of freedom of assembly or even association in
terms of political parties, independent associations or even labor unions, as
workers may not even bargain collectively, let alone strike. The judiciary is not independent of the state
and racial discrimination against blacks continues to be practiced unofficially
by elements of the regime, according to the freedom-ranking organization. “Freedom of movement and the right to chose
one’s residence and place of employment are restricted,” particularly for those
who wish to work abroad, Freedom House observes.
The continued lack of economic freedom, despite minimal economic liberalization by the regime, is also noted by Freedom House. For example, Freedom House found a lack of “expansion of the private sector beyond survival-oriented microenterprises.”