CÚCUTA, Colombia.- The Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) plans to approve the new Penal Code in the next few hours during the extraordinary session held until Monday in the National Assembly of People’s Power (ANPP). At the head of the conclave was the President Miguel Diaz-Canelwhich this time will not have the direct support of Raul Castro“Although he is not present in the room, he is following the session,” warned Esteban Lazo, president of the revolutionary body.
To make it clear to all those present, Lazo added that “we feel the presence of the undefeated commander in chief Fidel Castro, whose legacy always guides this ANPP.”
It is precisely about toughen the Penal Code written during the presidency of the highest leader of Castroismwith the aim of using all the tools at your disposal, which are already many, so that another popular rebellion like the one of July 11 of last year will not be repeated.
A code tailored to a revolution that after more than six decades seeks to eternalize itself in powerfor which it even maintains the death penalty in force: execution by firing squad for the most serious cases, such as taking hostages. Life imprisonment is also contemplated.
The Díaz-Canel government seeks a battery of regulations to intimidate dissidents and independent journalists in a special waybut the persecution covers all Cubans: criminalizes 37 new crimes related to the Internet, which was fundamental in last year’s rebellion.
“Protects the socialist political and state system from the set of actions and activities that are committed against the constitutional order and with the purpose of creating a climate of social instability and a state of ungovernability”acknowledges the new code, which has been worked on in revolutionary secrecy to adapt to the new times on the island, marked by the irrepressible arrival of the Internet, present since the end of 2018. A true revolution based on memes, which have made special damage to Díaz-Canel, live connections and uncensored channels have dynamited the communicational hegemony maintained by the PCC.
With the crime of “public disorder” it is also intended to punish “alterations of this nature produced in groups or individually”. Those who also dare to insult public officials will suffer sentences of up to three years in prison.
“The new Penal Code is a regression with respect to the current Penal Code in two essential points: directly criminalizes the exercise of rights that until now were obliquely criminalized on the one hand and, on the other, goes against the concept of minimal intervention that is characteristic of criminal codes, at least in the Western Hemisphere. In a key sense it is even unconstitutional because it is placed above the Constitution contradicting and denying constitutionally recognized rights in the law itself, ”Manuel Cuesta Morúa, coordinator of Arco Progresista and vice president of the Council for Democratic Transition, explained to LA NACION.
The calls “mercenaries”, a word widely used in the three dictatorships in the region, can now be sentenced to up to ten years in prison for receiving international or NGO financing, the only possibility of subsistence for independent journalists who are not part of the state propaganda apparatus. Precisely during this week, the Cuban and Venezuelan revolutions have publicly announced their decision to “strengthen” existing judicial ties. “Together and united, visualizing this decade,” warned Nicolás Maduro, who also ordered to combat dissidents and independent journalists on the Internet.
Crimes against public order include the dissemination of “false news or malicious predictions with the purpose of causing alarm, discontent or disinformation”. A category so broad that its arbitrary use is a threat to all users of social networks, the same ones that made the first 11-J demonstration in San Antonio de los Baños go viral, which later became massive throughout the island.
The persecution and imprisonment of the peaceful demonstrators of 11-J triggered the number of political prisoners in the country. According to the latest data from Prisoners Defenders, 1,015 of the 1,218 political detainees since that date are still in prison, of whom 874 are 9/11 prisoners.
“The new code that they want to approve is one of the greatest atrocities that can be committed against a people in the world. It is not only against opponents, dissidents, activists, it is against every Cuban. The regime does it because they don’t care about us,” dissident poet Ariel Maceo complained.
“It is evident that it is an autocratic response to the self-democratization process of Cuban society in the last 20-25 years, which reached greater intensity in the last three years and the greater visibility and expansion in the citizen revolution of July 11 and 12. It is the reaction of a minority regime to the growing diversity, plurality and citizen autonomy in civil society”, sentenced Cuesta Morúa.