International Human Rights Day

Thursday, December 10, 2009
On December 10th, 1948, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

This document embodies the most sacred tenets for free people throughout the world. As such, December 10th is observed in the world's democracies as International Human Rights Day.

This document also embodies the hopes and aspirations of those that remain captive by tyranny. As such, December 10th is marked by heightened vigilance and repression in the world's remaining tyrannies.

Yet, despite the brutal consequences, it is also a day in which outstanding men and women courageously challenge tyranny and demonstrate against the violation of their basic human rights.

One of these outstanding individuals is Afro-Cuban physician, Dr. Darsi Ferrer.

Every year, on December 10th, Dr. Ferrer organizes a demonstration to highlight the Castro regime's abuses. And every year, predictably, his demonstration is violently suppressed.

This past summer, Dr. Ferrer was arrested by the Castro regime and remains imprisoned without trial.

Therefore, in solidarity with Dr. Ferrer, we recall one of his yearly calls to action. This one is from 2007.

It is for this advocacy that he languishes today as a political prisoner:

March Against Apartheid Suffered by the Cuban People

We call upon all Cubans to commemorate International Human Rights Day on December 10th, by exercising our right to demonstrate in a peaceful silent march as a protest of the immoral and illegal apartheid policy imposed by the Cuban government.

It is the duty all people to assume individual responsibility and confront the tragedy facing the nation, to urge political, economic and social changes that benefit everyone, and to facilitate an end to this humiliating situation in which a powerful few violate sovereignty and enjoy privileges all while discriminating against the majority simply because they are citizens.

Governments, institutions, organizations and human beings in general have an obligation to promote respect for fundamental rights and freedoms, as well as ensure their recognition and universal and effective application.

Our appeal, by our participation on that day, will be for the recognition, in every corner of the earth, of the inherent dignity and equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family.

Never in the history of the nation has there existed such an anti-Cuban government. The current constitution recognizes rights and freedoms for Cubans (Article 42 and 43), the penal code condemns as a felony any application of apartheid (Article 120-1 and 295-1); in practice the two laws are systematically violated by the established official public policy.

Despite the fact that the Cuban government is a member of the newly created United Nations Council for Human Rights, it violates its pledge to be a signatory of the international convention on repression and punishment for the crime of apartheid.
The march will take place at the park located at Calzada between D and E, in El Vedado. The start time for the march will be 11:00 A.M. and will consist of walking around the park, in silence, to avoid any kind of disorder and provocation.

We urge Cubans living outside the island to conduct activities on the 10th of December, at the same hour, in commemoration of this important date, and thus extend their support and solidarity to the march.

We call upon the international organizations dedicated to the defense of human rights to join and contribute by promoting the 30 articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the elimination of apartheid in Cuba.

In particular, we expect that the authorities of the government of Cuba to ensure order during the march and prevent, on this occasion, abuses by state security apparatus.

Dr. Darsi Ferrer Ramirez, Cuban citizen.