Cuba Human Rights

Civil and political rights continue to be severely restricted by Cuban authorities.

Government critics continue to be imprisoned; many report that they were beaten during arrest. Restrictions on freedom of expression is widespread. The government curtails freedom of association and assembly. The US embargo against Cuba remains, despite increasing opposition to it within and outside the USA.


Relations between Cuba and the USA improved during the year. Both governments initiated dialogues relating to migration issues and the re-establishment of a direct postal service between the two countries. Representatives of the US Congress visited Cuba in April and met the Cuban President.

The Council of Ministers underwent a major reshuffle in March and key ministers during Fidel Castro's last years in power were replaced.

In June, Cuba's 47-year suspension from the Organization of American States (OAS) was lifted. However, Cuba's participation in the OAS is conditional on its adherence to OAS principles.

In February, Cuba's human rights record was assessed under the UN Universal Periodic Review. Cuba adopted some broad undertakings but rejected most of the recommendations relating to the protection and promotion of civil and political rights. Cuba was re-elected to the Human Rights Council for another three-year term in May. The visit of the UN Special Rapporteur on torture, planned for October, was postponed by the Cuban authorities until 2010.

Cuba Newsroom

April 15, 2018 • Report

Cuba: Change of leadership must herald a new era for human rights

The end of Raúl Castro’s mandate as president of Cuba, expected to come on April 19, presents a historic opportunity to overhaul the state of human rights in Cuba, Amnesty International said today, as it published a roadmap for how the new administration can improve the nation’s human rights record: Transform confrontation into dialogue.

November 16, 2017 • Report

Cuba: Job sector, a tool of repression as perceived critics face jobless life

Ordinary Cubans perceived to be even subtly critical of life in the country face a future of harassment at work, or unemployment as authorities use their control over the job market as an additional tool of repression, Amnesty International said in a new report today.

February 18, 2016 • Report

Amnesty International State of the World 2015-2016

International protection of human rights is in danger of unravelling as short-term national self-interest and draconian security crackdowns have led to a wholesale assault on basic freedoms and rights, warned Amnesty International as it launched its annual assessment of human rights around the world. “Your rights are in jeopardy: they are being treated with utter contempt by many governments around the world,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

February 25, 2015 • Report

State of the World 2014/2015

This has been a devastating year for those seeking to stand up for human rights and for those caught up in the suffering of war zones. Governments pay lip service to the importance of protecting civilians. And yet the world's politicians have miserably failed to protect those in greatest need. Amnesty International believes that this can and must finally change.

June 16, 2014 • Report

President and Congress should apply human rights principles and close Guantánamo

The US prison camp at Guantánamo is back on the political agenda. And the politicking again threatens to derail the already long overdue goal of closing it. This is what happens when a government operates a detention regime that flouts human rights and the rule of law and then fails to apply human rights principles in ending it.

May 17, 2013 • Report

Annual Report: Cuba 2013

REPUBLIC OF CUBA Head of state and government Raúl Castro Ruz Repression of independent journalists, opposition leaders and human rights activists increased. There were reports of an average of 400 …

March 28, 2013 • Report

USA: Letter to US Secretary of Defense in relation to hunger-strikes at Guantánamo

Amnesty International expresses deep concern at the situation faced by the detainees held in Department of Defense custody at the US naval base at Guantánamo Bay in Cuba.

September 11, 2012 • Report

Another detainee dies at Guantánamo: Yemeni man, in his 11th year of detention without charge or trial, found dead in cell

A tragic reminder of the numbing cruelty of the USA’s indefinite detention regime at its Guantánamo Bay detention facility, and the urgent need to resolve the detentions, comes with the news that another detainee has died at the naval base.

June 16, 2011 • Report

Annual Report: Cuba 2011

Head of state and government: Raúl Castro Ruz Death penalty: retentionist Population: 11.2 million Life expectancy: 79 years Under-5 mortality (m/f): 9/6 per 1,000 Adult literacy: 99.8 per cent Forty-three …

March 26, 2011 • Report

Cuba: The US embargo against Cuba: Its impact on economic and social rights

For nearly half a century, the USA has unilaterally imposed an economic, commercial, and financial embargo against Cuba....