MIAMI, United States. – The first mission to the island headed by Pedro Américo Furtado de Oliveira, Director of the Country Office for Mexico and Cuba of the International Labor Organization (ILO), ended on March 8th without any complaints filed for the violations of labor rights of millions of Cubans.
According to the note published by the ILO, the official mission lasted between February 28th and March 8th. During this period, Furtado de Oliveira held high-level dialogues with officials and representatives of the Cuban State, as well as with employer and workers organizations, as well as United Nations agencies in the country.
According to the reports, none of those meetings included independent labor union activists, for they are not acknowledged by the island’s regime but are under constant harassment by the authorities.
According to the ILO, “the objectives of the mission to Cuba were to promote and strengthen technical cooperation alliances that can generate decent jobs and a transition to a green and sustainable economy that is aligned with the National Economic and Social Development Plan (PNDES) and the Platform for Comprehensive Territorial Development (PADIT) programs and other initiatives for economic and social development in Cuba.”
At no point was reference made to the repression unleashed by the island’s regime after the historic demonstration of July 11th and 12th, 2021, which has targeted hundreds of workers in both the state and the private sectors.
However, Furtado de Oliveira met with authorities from the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment (aka CITMA) and Cuba’s Environmental Agency (AMA), and visited the residual water treatment plant in the community of San Matías, which is part of the “Life Task Plan”.
“The country is going through a process of transformation looking ahead to dealing with the economic and labor crisis that resulted from COVID-19, as well as the consequences of restrictions to international economic integration. From the ILO, we offer our support so that together we can build those transformative paths,” stated the ILO official.
Likewise, he stated that Cuba was a “profoundly social State” and described it as “a strong ally in generating decent and sustainable work.”
In this way, the mission to the island headed by ILO’s Director of the Country Office for Mexico and Cuba ended without ever hearing the complaints of independent sectors in the island, particularly those of Asociación de Sindicalistas Independientes Cubanos (ASIC, by its Spanish acronym) and its Secretary General, Iván Hernández Carrillo.
In late November 2021, the Cuban activist registered complaints about “deliberate acts of intimidation, arrest and police harassment” against independent labor activists called on to participate in a civic march last November 15th (15N).
Furtado de Oliveira also paid no attention to the statements by ILO’s Committee on Freedom of Association, which has requested from the Cuban regime that it refrain from repressing independent labor activists and to guarantee the independent exercise of labor and union activities to all its citizens
“It is unacceptable that the international community tolerate the harassment and repression against independent labor activists. These acts cannot become normalized in the eyes of the world. The Cuban regime must be held accountable for these abuses,” has stated Hernández Carrillo about the complicity of international organizations.
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