Internet en Cuba

Latvians Bring Cuba Oppression to IFLA!

Great news on the IFLA front: the Latvian Library Association passed the
following resolution about Cuba, which pretty much insures that it will
finally be officially addressed at the next IFLA meeting. The only hitch
is that the resolution had to be submitted to headquarters before a
certain date, and I’ve not had it confirmed that the resolution met that


Whereas IFLA’s commitment to defend freedom of access to information is
based on Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which
guarantees everyone the right to “seek, receive and impart information
and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”; and

Whereas the IFLA resolution on human rights and librarians, adopted in
Munich, Germany, 1983, states:

“In the name of human rights, librarians must, as a profession, express
their solidarity with those of their colleagues who are persecuted for
their opinions, wherever they may be”
(; and

Whereas IFLA/FAIFE’s Mission and Actions statement declares:

“IFLA/FAIFE responds to violations of freedom of access to information
and freedom of expression affecting libraries and librarianship. IFLA
and IFLA/FAIFE supports and co-operates with relevant international
bodies, organisations or campaigns such as UNESCO, International PEN,
Article XIX, Index on Censorship, IFEX and Amnesty International”
(; and

Whereas in 2003 the Cuban government intensified a campaign of
repression directed against Cuban citizens who have opened a network of
uncensored libraries designed to challenge government control of
information, resulting in one-day trials which sentenced a number of the
librarians to prison sentences of 20 years or more; and

Whereas Cuban court documents, removed from the island and published on
the Internet, prove that the independent librarians were arrested for
the alleged crime of opening libraries, and that thousands of books in
their collections, including copies of the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights, books by George Orwell and other classic works of freedom,
were labeled “subversive” and ordered to be seized or burned by the
Cuban courts (; and

Whereas the independent librarians imprisoned in Cuba have been named as
prisoners of conscience by Amnesty International which, along with other
human rights organizations such as International PEN, Human Rights Watch
and Reporters Without Borders, is demanding the immediate and
unconditional release of the librarians on the grounds that they have
been convicted for exercising their right to freedom of expression; and

Whereas computers being shipped to Cuba by organizations in the United
States were recently confiscated by U.S. border agents; therefore

Be it Resolved that

IFLA protests the ongoing persecution of independent librarians in Cuba
and the seizure and burning of their library collections, and we join
Amnesty International and other human rights organizations in calling
for the immediate release of the independent librarians in Cuba who are
imprisoned for exercising their rights to intellectual freedom; and

that IFLA expresses solidarity with all those in Cuba, in both the
official and unofficial library world, who struggle against difficult
economic and political obstacles in order to meet the information needs
of the Cuban people; and

that IFLA condemns the 2005 seizure by United States border agents of
computer equipment being shipped to Cuba, which is a violation of
Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Adopted at the 11th Conference of the Library Association of Latvia (LAL),

Riga, 28 February 2006

Anna Mauli?a

LAL President

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March 2006
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