the civil society in cuba

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                             THE CIVIL SOCIETY IN CUBA:
                           FOR A DEMOCRATIC PERSPECTIVE
                                 By Alexandrine Boudreault-Fournier

        Cuba has been ruled by an authoritative and totalitarian regime since 1959. In that country,

the prospects for a civil society are severely limited. People who participate in independent

activities run the risk of being confined or harassed. The Cuban regime has many official

organizations in order to mobilize and control the population. The government expects Cubans to

be engaged in those societies. However, these organizations are not autonomous from the state‟s


        In this essay, I will demonstrate how the formation of autonomous civil organizations since

the 1980s, in Cuba, has been a pivotal force in the political development of the island. Despite the

problems encountered, the movement has succeeded and has become internationalized. However,

there are still many limits in the actions engaged. I will focus on the civil organizations which are

working for the development of human rights and democracy in Cuba such as the CCPDH (Cuban

Committee for Human Rights).

        First, I will give an overview of what is a civil society and how it interacts with the state. I

will demonstrate how civil organizations increase mass participation and have an effect on

governmental policies. Second, I will refer to the actual legal Cuban context in which the civil

society has to fight for its rights. I will outline Cuba‟s failures to respect civil and political rights as

found in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). I will refer to the „routine

repression‟, the political prisoners, the freedom of expression and opinion and the freedom of

association. I will also give the Cuban government‟s point of view regarding the UDHR and the

Cuban Constitution because according to Cuban authorities, Cuba is one of the most democratic

countries in the world (Fernandez 1997). I will explain the reasons from inside and also from
outside the country which have lead the civil society to organize and influence the government‟s

policies. Third, I will demonstrate how these human rights groups really affected and still affect

the political development in Cuba. I will also outline how the Cuban government affects the

autonomous organizations. I will specify the role of civil societies for the construction of a more

democratic Cuba.

         It is important to outline here that the debate of human rights in and outside Cuba is highly

politicized. The opinion of authors regarding the Cuban Revolution is often obvious and

consequently, it influences their analysis. In this essay, I am trying not to fall into the “Miami-

Cuba” debate, in being conscious of the divergent opinions of the authors I am referring to.

However, it is important to outline my own position because my analysis will probably be

influenced by my own biases and by my personal interpretation of the problem. The situation in

Cuba is very particular because the current government was first established in 1959 by a massive

popular revolution (Pastor 1996). This means that even in a totalitarian government, mass

participation is possible. On the other hand, many things happened since the 1960s in the world

and in Cuba, in particular the economic crisis of the 1990s caused by the collapse of the Soviet

Union. In spite of all we can suppose and suspect, we do not have a clear idea of what the Cuban

majority (living in Cuba) thinks about their revolutionary government in the year 2000. In fact, in a

one-party state it is difficult to gauge levels of support for the regime in power (Greenwood &

Lambie 1999). The growth of civil organizations in Cuba shows to the outside world that people

are at least not supporting every policies of the Cuban government and are questioning the

efficiency of the official institutions. As Greenwood & Lambie explain (1999:56), while the Cuban

population “does voice complaints about the economy, the Cuban leadership remains popular with

the majority of the island‟s citizen”1. This popularity is due to the regime‟s many strengths: an

emphasis on social equality, effective health care and high literacy rates (Kapcia 1995; Eckstein

1994 reported by Greenwood & Lambie 1999). It is the Cubans who have to make choices. In this

paper, I want to explain from my personal biased point of view, how independent civil

organizations are influencing and promoting the democratic development in the island despite the

1The authors deduced this fact in analysing the responses to the first direct popular elections to the National Assembly
which took place in February 1993.

repression of the state. My analysis is primarily based on „Western‟ analysis of the situation and

this is due to the scarcity of documents written by Cubans who are still living in the island.

The civil society in a democratic perspective
        Civil society is concerned with a certain area of society which is the public space between

the state and the individual citizen (or household) (Hadenius & Uggla 1996, Fernandez 1997).

Civil societies can be further distinguished by the fact that their activities are organized, active and

collective. Compared to the notion of “mass societies” which are characterized by individuals, civil

societies refer to groups which are developing civil cooperation. It is well accepted that civil

societies can have a positive impact on democracy prospects if they are independent from the state

and part of a civil network (Hadenius & Uggla 1996). In a democratic perspective, civil societies

must be pluralist and must have educational functions (Hadenius & Uggla 1996).

        Certain external factors may facilitate or impede the development of civil societies. The

state is an important factor which influences the formation of independent organizations. The

relationship between the civil society and the state is mutual and dynamic. Exchanges between

these two actors are contesting and shaking social relations and social values (Fernandez 1997).

The essence of civil societies is autonomy from the state but total independence is virtually

incompatible with political influences. It is well accepted that in a democratic perspective, the state

should cooperate and consult with civil organizations (Griffith & Sedoc-Dahlberg 1997). However,

as I will explain in the following pages, the relation of the state with civil societies is not always

favorable for the development of autonomous organizations. Hence, the repressive behavior of the

state highly affects the efficiency and the capacity of independent organizations and the

development of democracy (Dominguez 2000). Hadenius & Uggla (1996) have developed an

interesting scale which shows how the state can react in regard to the development of civil

societies. The state treatment ranges from hostile to benevolent * (Appendix 1). I will limit my

analysis to the first stage of the scale because it illustrates adequately the Cuban context. At the

* Despite the fact that this scale could not be applicable to every situations, I think that it is still a good tool for
illustrating the different possible behaviors of the state vis-à-vis society. Hadenius & Uggla proposed this scale as a
tool and they are providing interesting comments for each of the stages. Their analysis is very broad and does not refer
to Cuban issues.

first stage, the state does not tolerate any independent civil organizations. Consequently, the

prospects for civil activity are severely limited. It is associated with totalitarian and repressive

states. Civil organizations are proscribed with varying degrees of severity, and participating in

independent organizations involves risks such as confinement and harassment. In some cases,

organizations which adopt non-political tasks are tolerated. The state tends to control civil

organizations which become extensions of the official institutions. For example, in Nicaragua

during the Sandinista Revolution in the 1980s, the government had organizations to control almost

everything: food production and distribution (ENABAS), labor (CTS, ATC), women (AMNLAE),

resources (IRENA), land (INRA), education (MED), youth (JS 19), etc. (Nietschmann 1989).

These types of mass mobilizations are dependent on the state for the decisional competencies, the

recruitment of the leaders and on financial support (Hadenius & Uggla 1996).

       Relations between the state and civil societies are complex because it involves other types

of relations at different levels with other national and international organizations such as NGOs

and donors (Meyer 1997). When a state adopts a hostile behavior in regard to civil organizations, it

affects the development of democracy and it constrains the freedoms of association and


       Human rights groups are important seeds of civil society. Their role is to “search and

denounce the violations and abuses committed against the freedoms of the citizens” (Martinez &

Bofill 1999:1. My translation). Many of the human rights groups (but not all of them) based their

requests on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights written by the United Nations in 1948. An

important element to mention is that in the case of a totalitarian regime, where one political party

is the rule, the distinction between a human rights group and a political opposition party is blurred

(Fernandez 1997). As I will explain, the incapacity of the Cuban government to divide these two

types of organizations is in part responsible for the absence of legal human rights groups in the

island. In the Cuban case, the government perceives human rights associations as inherently
counterrevolutionary, labeling them grupusculos (a pejorative term meaning small groups)

(Fernandez 1997, DeCosse 1999).

The Cuban Legal Context
       According to the Human Rights Watch (DeCosse 1999) and Amnesty International (2000),

Cuba has infringed on many Human Rights which are encoded in the UDHR. According to

DeCosse, “Over the past forty years, Cuba has developed a highly effective machinery of

repression” (1999:1). In the name of legality, the Cuban government has broken many rights of the

UDHR but also from its own Constitution. The Cuban prisons are full of human rights activists,

independent journalists, economists, doctors and other intellectuals who have expressed their

political or social views. When Fidel Castro was questioned about the political prisoners by Paule

Robitaille in an interview on Radio-Canada on October 10, 2000, he changed the subject in

answering that his people “have the right to education and health, (...) [that] in Cuba there is

something we call human dignity” (My translation). He also adds in talking about the political

prisoners that since the Revolution of 1959 there have never been any judiciary extractions,

tortures, political assassinations, death squads, grenades nor revolts (except the one on August 5,

1992) in Cuba. It is clear that Cuba‟s government is restricting certain rights in the name of „civil

security‟, dangerousness for the statu quo of the socialist regime and ideology and „enemy‟

propaganda. In the early years of the Revolution, repression was used proactively to reshape the

Cuban society, it now exercises repression for purely defensive reasons, to shut out the world and

prevent change (Gershman 1998).

       Therefore, the civil organizations in Cuba face a government which does not cooperate and

which refuses to legalize any autonomous associations. The Brazilian foreign minister Luiz Felipe

said that “Cuba is not ready for dialogue”, and that the government has exhibited a “great rigidity

(...) and no disposition whatsoever to discuss the issue of human rights” (reported by Gershman

1998:1). As the Human Rights Report explains, Cuba “subjects members of independent

organizations to frequent harassment, arrests, and detentions” (1999). The civil society‟s definition

of the Cuban government is interesting because it contrasts with the „Western‟ point of view. Civil
society according to Cuban authorities is an official mass organization which is sponsored by the

government and the Communist Party. It encompasses groups of workers, women, peasants,

students, professionals, writers, and artists, among others (Dominguez 2000).

       An important element which can explain this hostile behavior may be found in the Cuban

Constitution. The Constitution is dicted by a Marxist ideology where social harmony is in a way

taken for granted. From the point of view of the state, the Revolutionary government represents the

will of the people so there is no need for opposition and dissident groups. This is this ideological

assumption, enshrined in the Constitution, that many Human Rights groups are contesting. In the

Article 9(a) we can read that the Cuban Constitution guarantees “the full freedom and dignity of

men, [and] the enjoyment of their rights...” (Constitution of the Republic of Cuba 1992.

Translation by Human Rights Watch). However, many constitutional provisions undermine these

guarantees (DeCosse 1999). The constitution nullifies these freedoms when they are contrary to

“the goals of the socialist state,” “socialist legality,” or the “people‟s decision to build socialism

and communism” (Ibid., Articles 10 and 62. Translation by Human Rights Watch). Because the

constitution recognizes the Communist party as “the superior leading force of the society and the

state” (Ibid., Article 5. Translation by Human Rights Watch), the government is the sole actor

which has a word to say in the accusations of dangerousness, crimes against the state security,

propaganda, etc . One of the Fidel‟s dictum represents well the level of tolerance of the

government towards autonomous organizations: “within the Revolution everything, against the

Revolution, nothing” (Fernandez 1997:99).

       A research done by the Partido Democratico Cristiano de Cuba (PDC-Christian

Democratic Party of Cuba) showed that in 1999, there were more than 453 dissident organizations,

oppositions and human rights groups in Cuba which were not controlled by the state (Castillo,

Grandio & al. 1999). However, none of them were considered legal by the official institutions.

Thus, the activists involved in these organizations were subjected to repression and harassment by

the government. Because these organizations cannot be legalized, the Cuban situation is not stable
and the civic context is always changing (Castillo, Grandio & al. 1999). The principal strength of

the Cuban government in regard to controlling the civil organizations is that the official

institutions are limiting the access to „legality‟ by adopting the Law of Association. In fact, the

most obvious instrument of state control is the registration process (Gunn 1994:3). The Article #8

of the Law of Association (#54) establishes that an organization will not be accepted for

registration if its goals violate the Cuban Constitution or involves activities “that are properly the

role of the state” (Gunn 1994:3). This point is essential to understand why the human rights groups

have never been accepted to be registered. As I wrote before, the Cuban government considers the

human rights groups as political parties. Then, this law denies their registration on the grounds that

they are covert political parties (DeCosse 1999, Gunn 1994, etc.). In fact, Cuba has never legalized

any political party under the law (DeCosse 1999). Also, the law of Association outlines that a state

representative has the right to assist to any meeting of a particular group and inspect their book,

material, articles, etc. According to a top Cuban official (reported by Gunn 1994:4), this law is

designed in order that it “prevent[ed](s) the registration of organizations which use human rights

activities as a „cover for efforts to overthrow the government.”

         Cuba reported to the United Nations that some 2 000 groups (among them, non-profit

scientific and technical, cultural and artistic, public interest and sport associations and friendship

and solidarity groups) have been registered and recognized by the state as legal civil organizations

(DeCosse 1999). These groups which have been for the most part converted into NGOs* include in

fact Communist Party-supported and government-controlled mass organizations, as well as groups

formed by government ministries. For example, the Federacion de Mujeres Cubana (FMC-

Federation of Cuban Women) is an organism re-labeled by the government as NGO (Moses 2000,

Gunn 1994). We are inclined to think that this organization should be independent from the state to

be effective in a democratic perspective. However, a quick look at who is the leader of the

organization brings some doubts about its full autonomy. FMC leader Vilma Espin is the wife of

* The Cuban government had transformed many legal civil organizations (official and non-official) in NGOs. It
becomes easier for them to receive international donations and they can resolve local problems that the state can not
grant funds for. This was the solution of Castro‟s regime when faced with the economic crisis of the 1990s in the
search of alternative resources. Despite the fact that the state does not fully tolerate these international organisms, it
does not have the choice to rely on them for their monetary and material donations. See the article by Gillian Gunn
(1994) “Cuba‟s NGOs: Government Puppets or Seeds of Civil Society?” and the book of Catherine Moses (2000) for
more information.

Defense Minister Raul Castro, the brother of Fidel. This example is unfortunately not an exception

(Gunn 1994, DeCosse 1999).

Free speech, free exchange of information, and free association

       The first formal Human Rights group in post-1959 Cuba is the Comité Cubano pro

Derechos Humanos (CCPDH-Cuban Committee for Human Rights) and was established in 1976.

One of the founders of this group, Ricardo Bofill has often been arrested by the authority and has

been incarcerated during a considerable length of time. Francisco Pastor Chaviano Gonzalez is the

leader of the Consejo Nacional para los Derechos Civiles en Cuba (CNDCC-National Council for

Civil Rights in Cuba). On April 21, 1995, a Cuban military coup sentenced him to fifteen years for

revealing state security secrets and falsifying a public document, on the grounds that he had

identified infiltrators in the CNDCC (DeCosse 1999). Examples of activist arrestations seem to be

illimited and the sentences are very severe. In fact, human rights activists and independent

journalists are among the government‟s most frequent targets, along with independent labor

organizers (DeCosse 1999). The Cuban prisons are now the center of human rights activists

(Fernandez 1997). According to Gershman (1998:1), the “growing cases of open arrest and

detainment are indication of the government‟s weakness and lack of authority”. We can contend

that the Human rights organizations and other dissident civil groups are affecting the „immortal‟

and untouchable image of the Cuban government. I will explore in more details the effects of civil

society in the next section. The rights of free speech, free exchange of information and free

association are severely infringed on according to different International organizations as Amnesty

International (2000).

       It is important to mention here that the context of human rights in Cuba mirrors not only

national repression but also international pressures. It is an error to think that other countries do

not have an effect on the repression of the Cuban state and at the same time on the development of

civil organizations on the island. The United States is one of the most important external factor
influencing the respect of human rights in Cuba. The embargo imposed by the United States

combined with the economic crisis caused by the Soviet Union Empire dismantling failed to bring

human rights improvements in Cuba. According to Decosse (1999), the US embargo has become

counterproductive, providing a pretext to Castro‟s repression while alienating Washington‟s

erstwhile allies. Also, the passage of the Toricelli Bill in 1992 (the Cuban Democracy Act) and the

Helms-Burton law in 1996 (the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act) reinforced the

Cuban government repression on the rights of association and expression. In other words, the

United States embargo, the Toricelli Bill and the Helms-Burton law provide the Cuban

government with a justification for its repressive policies. Despite the fact that the United States

are financing dissident Cuban groups which are most of the time “pro-US” in Miami and in Cuba,

it has also alienating effects on the development of democracy on the island*.

The effects of Human Rights groups in Cuba
           In the preceding section I gave an overview of the legal context that the civil groups have to

cope with in the organization of their activities. I made brief and concrete comments about Cuba‟s

failure to respect civil and political rights from a Western perspective. This will help me to

explain, in this section, the stakes of human rights organizations fights in Cuba. Then, I will

explain how these organizations affect the Cuban government.

           There are many ways of increasing the participatory factor in a particular society. Civil

organizations are one of them because they involve the autonomous participation of a considerable

amount of citizens thus having an important effect on the development of democracy. Participation

can be viewed as an ideal, a democratic ideal. Political analysts have suggested that public policies

should also be evaluated as to whether they elicit greater citizen participation (Meyer 1997:1136).

It is well accepted that active participation of voluntary associations vitalized democracy (Meyer

1997:1136). According to Hagopian (2000:896):“participation is fundamental to a strong

democracy”. Civil society, even in a totalitarian country such as Cuba, can have an effect on their

target interest (human rights, culture, religion or other). Therefore, we can contend that “civil

society can be an agent of change and not inimical to a socialist regime” (Hernandez reported by
Dominguez 2000:102). Greenwood & Lambie (1999:57) write that despite everything, “What

*   One can observe here my own biases in regard of the United States policies towards Cuba.

really matters is whether local organs provide an effective avenue „for improving democratic


       According to Fernandez, human rights groups in Cuba are “changing the rules of the

political game by injecting a measure of civility into the political praxis of civil society [...] they

have offered the possibility for many citizens to regain agency by participating in grassroots

movements” (1997:99). The civil organizations are often confronting the ideology and practices of

the state. The state, in a way or another, has to react to these manifestations and to a certain extent,

must adapt to it. Fidel Castro used for the first time in one of his discourse the term “civil society”

at the 1994 Ibero-American Summit. This shows that Castro and his government are conscious of

the stakes that are going on in its society. This attitude also reflects another response than

repression from the part of the state. Actually, the Cuban government has sometimes attempted to

co-opt the message of human rights groups (Fernandez 1997). To do so, “the state has adopted

discourse echoing that of the activists” (Fernandez 1997:109). This had lead to different policy

changes. For example, in the early 1990s, the government opened the space for „free‟ discussion at

the Fourth Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba. In addition, interesting manifestations of

change can be perceived in the heart of official agencies in the government (Gunn 1994). Gaceta,

the official journal of the state-controlled writers‟ union, recently defended the expression‟s

legitimacy (Gunn 1994). This could not have been imaginable a few years ago. In the previous

pages, I explained how international pressures could undermine the work of the civil organization.

However at this point, international pressures can have an important positive effect on the

development of democracy in Cuba. The Cuban government has responded to the human rights

challenge on the world scene, partly because the challenge has been an international one. The goal

of this response is clear: “acquire international moral capital by debunking the image of Cuba as a

pariah state and to appropriate some of the language of the human rights movement” (Fernandez

1997:109-110). In other words, Cuba wants to create a new image abroad to increase its popularity.

This could explain why new terms have been incorporated into its official discourse such as
democracy and human rights (Foreign Broadcast Information 1994:3-4).

       Despite the fact that some human rights groups did not define themselves a priori as

political oppositions but as defenders of the political and civil rights of individuals, they have a

stimulating effect for the development of opposition parties (Fernandez 1997). In 1988, the

Committee for Human Rights (CCPHD) influenced the creation of a parallel opposition party

named Partido Pro Derechos Humanos (PPDH-Party for Human Rights) (Martinez & Bofill 1988;

Fernandez 1997). This party was established to channel the CCPHD support. This example shows

that the human rights groups albeit not politically oriented can have a direct influence on the

development of opposition parties, influencing at the same time the development of plurality in

Cuba. The aspect of plurality is important because it will increase active citizen participation and

develop a multi-face democracy. Actually, the resistance in Cuba has changed from being

composed fundamentally of human rights and political groups to include social and professional

associations; for example associations of independent journalists. According to Gershman (1998)

and Dominguez (2000), what is happening in Cuba is nothing less than the emergence of a civil


       In spite of the state‟s repression and its refusal to negotiate, “Cuba‟s civil society continues

to grow and evolve, even as citizens attempt to cope with constraints on public freedom”

(Dominguez 2000:102). The civil organizations are showing the path to others and this can only

have a driving effect for other organizations. However, the Cuban picture is not characterized by

only positive perspectives. Actually, the concrete power of action of civil organizations on state‟s

policies are severely limited due to harsh and severe methods of repression. The activists which are

involve in such organizations are at high risk of being harassed. The increase of mass participation

in „autonomous‟ organization can have a positive effect in the sense that at a point, the government

will have no choice but to cooperate with the civil groups and this is an interesting perspective for

the future development of democracy in the island.

       In 1993, it was counted that there were over 100 human rights, opposition, and independent
groups inside Cuba, many with counterparts in the United States and elsewhere in the world

(Fernandez 1997). One needs to be careful not to see this movement essentially as a proof of

democratic development because the human rights activists remain a tiny minority of the Cuban

population. The situation in Cuba is still very precarious.

       In this essay I presented the problems of civil organizations, more precisely human rights

groups, and their relation with the totalitarian state in Cuba. First, I explained how civil

organizations fit in a democratic perspective. Then I explained the Cuban legal context. This

showed the context in which the human rights organizations and other civil groups have to cope

with. I also referred to the United States pressures and its effects on the development of democracy

in the island. Finally, I explained how the civil organizations affect the state. As I demonstrated,

the consequences of their actions cannot be viewed as a radical change but as a progressive

development towards a more democratic Cuba. Because of the Cuban context, the human rights

organizations which are considered as political parties cannot have a very powerful impact on the

policies of the government. However, they are important for the democratic development of the

island and as I showed, they affect to a certain extent the government policies and attitudes. The

civil organizations increase the citizen participation and question the institutions of the states. They

still have a lot of work to do in the future. In this essay, I did an overview of the problematic. I am

conscious that this polemic is complex and implies more agents, relations and groups. I wanted to

show how civil organizations in an hostile environment are able to organize and influence the

official institutions. I also wanted to show how the state can affect the development of autonomous

organizations and how it alienates the development of democracy.

       Last summer I had the opportunity to stay one month in the eastern part of Cuba having

contacts with some of the Cubans. My own pro-Cuban background rapidly became nuanced when I

observed the reality of the people I met. The economic crisis of the 1990s was very severe in Cuba

and it influenced the welfare of the population. One of the first thing that surprised me is the quasi

non existence of private ownership in Cuba. Houses, cars, stores and even horses which were
acquired after the revolution all belong to the state. Actually the state controls 90% of the

economic activity (Greenwood & Lambie 2000). The people I encountered in Cuba are not

necessarily against the Cuban regime, actually they often consider Castro as their spiritual father.

However, most of them admit that some of their rights are not fully respected. The freedom of

expression is the most striking one. Cubans have a body language when they discuss politics. For

example, by fear of being denounced, they never pronounce the name Castro; they stroke their

chin. These „rituals‟ are part of the Cuban society and illustrate well the adaptability of a people to

cope with repressive policies. I often asked myself why the Cubans do not revolt and chase away

Castro. The answer just simply lies in the fact that the Revolutionary government provides certain

elements to the Cuban population that are still important to most of them. Why westerners have so

much difficulty to figure it out and accept it?


Amnesty International
2000         Cuba: Annual Report 2000.

1995-2000 Governments on the WWW: Cuba.

CASTILLO, Siro Del, GRANDIO Mercedez & al.
1999       Lista de organizaciones disidentes, opositoras y de derechos humanos.

2000     “An Increasingly Civil Cuba”. Foreign Policy 120:100-102.

1999       Cuba’s Repressive Machinery. Human Rights Watch.

1997     “Democracy and Human Rights: The Case of Cuba”. Democracy and Human Rights
in the   Caribbean. Edited by Ivelaw L. Griffith and Betty N. Sedoc-Dalhberg. Westview

1998     “Thanks to the Pope, Civil Society Stirs in Cuba”. The Wall Street Journal, Sep 18.

1999         “Local Government in Cuba: Democracy Through Participation?”. Local
Government Studies        25(1):55-74.

GUNN, Gillian
1994        Cuba’s NGOs: Government Puppets or Seeds of Civil Society.

HADENIUS, Axel & Frederick UGGLA
1996       “Making Cicil Society Work, Promoting Democratic Development: What Can
States and               Donors Do?”. World Development 24(10):1621-1639.

2000      “Political Development Revisited”. Comparative Political Studies. Aug.-Sep. 33(6-
7):880-           911.

Inter-American Commission
1994          Inter-American Commission on Human Rights Report on Cuba.

LARA, Samuel Martinez & Ricardo BOFILL
1988       Fundacion del Partido Pro Derechos Humanos.

MOSES, Catherine
2000       Real Life in Castro’s Cuba. A Scholarly Resources Inc.

1989     The Unknown War. London: Freedom House.

PASTOR, Manuel Jr.
1996      “Cuba and Cuban Studies”. Latin American Research Review 31(3):218-233.

2000      Interview with Fidel Castro, Havana. Radio-Canada; Le Point. October 10.

The Alexis de Tocqueville Institution

UNIFO Editorial Staff
1983        International Human Rights Instruments of the United Nations 1948-1982. New

1994         Foreign Broadcast Information Service-Latin America. June 16.

2000         La Sociedad Civil en Cuba.


State treatment of civil activity
                                                                  Hostile state
Stage 1. The state does not tolerate independent civil activity
       Threshold: de facto right to form autonomous organizations

Stage 2. The state accepts autonomous organization, but does not provide a space for it
       Threshold: state withdrawal opening up a space for independent activity

Stage 3. A space for independent activity exists, but the practice of governance does not
       promote autonomous organization
       Threshold: favorable institutional structures

Stage 4. The state provides favorable structures but not active support
       Treshold: active state programs in support of civil society

Stage 5. The state actively promotes autonomous organization
                                                           Benevolent state
(Source: Hadenius & Uggla 1996:1629)

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