COMMITTEE ON THE ELIMINATION
OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
OF REPORTS SUBMITTED BY STATES
PARTIES UNDER ARTICLE 9 OF THE CONVENTION
of the Committee on
the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
1. The Committee considered
the tenth, eleventh and twelfth periodic reports of Cuba (CERD/C/319/Add.4)
at its 1290th and 1291st meetings, on 12 and 13 August 1998, and, at
its 1301st meeting, on 20 August 1998, adopted the following concluding
2. The Committee welcomes
the presentation of the State party's report and appreciates the opportunity
to resume the dialogue with the State party. The report followed the
guidelines for the presentation of reports and contained useful information
which was complemented by the oral information provided by the delegation.
The Committee also welcomes the submission by Cuba of the core document
B. Factors or difficulties impeding the
implementation of the Convention
3. It is recognized that
Cuba has experienced serious economic difficulties as a result of the
embargo in place since the beginning of the 1990s that affect the full
enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights, especially by less
favoured social groups. Among those groups there is, for historical
and socio-cultural reasons, a high percentage of the black and mestizo
C. Positive aspects
4. Appreciation is expressed
with regard to the commitment of the State party to eliminating all
manifestations of racial discrimination, especially through the adoption
since 1959 of appropriate legislation, equal opportunity policies and
widespread education of the population. The policy of promoting blacks
to managerial positions at all levels within the country, including
the highest political organs, is welcomed.
5. The statement by the
State party that although in public life racial prejudice is practically
insignificant, it still appears in the most private areas of life, particularly
in social engagements and marriage, is also appreciated. Efforts to
promote equality seem to have raised a widespread feeling among the
general public that racial prejudice is unacceptable and harmonious
interracial relations increase in every walk of life.
6. It is also noted with
interest that the 1992 constitutional reform introduced a number of
provisions by which aliens resident in Cuba enjoy the same rights as
Cubans in matters such as the protection of their persons and property
and the enjoyment of the rights and performance of the duties laid down
in the Constitution.
7. The fact that academic
institutions are conducting studies on different aspects of the racial
question is also welcomed.
D. Principal subjects of concern
8. The report of the State
party does not provide sufficient information on the practical implementation
of the Convention, in particular articles 4 to 6.
E. Suggestions and recommendations
9. The Committee recommends
that the State party, in its next periodic report, provide fuller information
on the demographic composition of the population in the light of paragraph
8 of the reporting guidelines. The findings of the study being conducted
by the Anthropology Centre about race relations and ethnicity should
be summarized in the next report.
10. The Committee requests
the Government of Cuba to provide, in its next periodic report, information
on the number of complaints of racial discrimination, the outcome of
the prosecution of cases of racial discrimination and the redress, if
any, provided to persons affected by such discrimination. The role of
the Attorney-General in dealing with complaints should also be clearly
explained in the light of article 6 of the Convention.
11. Particular attention
should be paid by the State party to the Committee's general recommendation
XIII (42) of 16 March 1993 on the training of law enforcement officials
in the protection of human rights and general recommendation XVII (42)
of 19 March 1993 on the establishment of national institutions to facilitate
the implementation of the Convention. Information in that respect should
be included in the next periodic report.
12. The Committee invites
the State party to give publicity to the Convention, the periodic report
as well as the Committee's concluding observations thereon, so that
the judiciary, the legal profession, the relevant government agencies
and the public at large are made fully aware of the provisions and the
potential of the Convention.
13. It is noted that the
State party has not made the declaration provided for in article 14
of the Convention and some members of the Committee requested that the
possibility of such a declaration be considered.
14. The Committee recommends
that the State party's next periodic report, due on 16 March 1999, be
an updating report and that it address all the points raised in the