Yisel González García, official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MINREX) of Cuba, lied openly when responding to the doubts raised by the representatives of Havana the experts who make up the Committee on the Rights of the Little boy (CRC) of the United Nations (UN)which met this week in Geneva for the regular review of the member states of that mechanism.
The panel that was interested on Wednesday in the situation of children in Cuba questioned Cuban officials about the issue of the age of military recruitment of minors on the island. Given this, González García, second secretary of the National Directorate of Multilateral Affairs and International Law of MINREX, said: “The first thing I must convey to this Committee is the certainty that children are not recruited and will not be recruited in Cuba.”
“Our National Defense Law is clear when it refers to three fundamental premises: that citizens of both sexes who wish to do so and openly express it may voluntarily join military service“said the official.
⚠️⚠️ To the Cuban men who spent 14 to 24 months in compulsory military service, yesterday the regime said at the UN that these things did not happen in Cuba… they lie and they stay so wide!!#NationalShame pic.twitter.com/98BbLCX1it
– Mag Jorge Castro🇨🇺 (@mjorgec1994) May 12, 2022
González García thus cited Article 71 of the Cuban National Defense Law, which refers to those over 17 years of age who wish to voluntarily join the “Active or Reserve Military Service.”
Nevertheless, avoided mentioning that Article 7 of said law states: “All citizens they have the right to have a place, a means and a way to participate in the rejection and defeat of the aggressor, to receive the necessary preparation to achieve it; Y the duty to join the defense when called up for military service or when mobilized”.
In turn, Article 67 clearly states: “Citizens of the male sex, from the first of January of the year in which they reach the age of seventeen until the thirty-first of December of the year in which they reach the age of twenty-eight, must perform Active Military Service for a term two years old In the case of those designated for the Labor Youth Army, they serve two additional months for their combat preparation.
Article 64 of that same law provides that “Military Service constitutes one of the main ways that allows Cuban citizens of both sexes to fulfill the honorable duty of serving the country with arms and includes Active and Reserve Military Service. “.
Then, it clarifies that only those physically or mentally disabled, officially declared as such, are “exempt from military service, in accordance with the provisions of the Ministry of the Revolutionary Armed Forces.”
Article 66 specifies that “Active Military Service consists of the direct fulfillment of military obligations by citizensin the units and dependencies of the Ministry of the Revolutionary Armed Forces or the Ministry of the Interior, and is governed by special provisions issued by these bodies.
During the VIII Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC), in April 2021, Raúl Castro suggested that “in light of the aging trend of the Cuban population that, among many other negative effects, limits the number of citizens who reach the statutory age to join the Military Service, the experience of the Higher Institute of International Relations (ISRI) should be studied in order to gradually generalize that all Higher Education students previously fulfill this duty”.
This, in reference to the fact that since 2002 ISRI students of both sexes, from which most of Havana’s diplomats come, have completed their Military Service for one year.
“The promotion to higher positions of colleagues who, for unjustified reasons, have not completed active military service cannot be admitted.which constitutes the main route of military preparation that all citizens must comply with, first of all the cadres,” added Castro.
Not only during the fulfillment of the Military Service in Cuba the minors are subjected to military training, but also in the Military Preparation classes that are taught in pre-university education.
Likewise, noncompliance with military service in Cuba is often used by the regime to prevent young people of recruitment age from leaving the country.
numerous complaints and testimonies of young recruits and their families after the massive demonstrations of 11J in Cuba showed the use of many of these minors in the repression of the civilian populationas evidenced by photos and videos shared on social networks and disseminated by foreign press agencies in Cuba.
The meeting of the Committee on the Rights of the Child, the first since 2011 to evaluate the Government of Cuba, will give rise to a series of recommendations from experts to the Cuban State.