Legal Aid Program
Because Cuba has been governed for more than a half century by a totalitarian regime that destroyed the country’s constitution and abolished all organizations of civil society, most citizens are ignorant of the principles and value of democracy, political rule of law, and multiparty politics, and constantly endure an abhorrent lack of respect for their basic human rights.
The Castro regime maintains a huge apparatus of political and social repression, employing strong-fisted policies, beatings, arrests and imprisonments against promoters of democracy, peaceful dissidents, and independent journalists who without economic resources relentlessly endeavor to resist the onslaught. The population remains gagged by dictates like Law 88 and the Cuban dangerousness law which is a legal charge that allows authorities to detain and imprison people who they think might oppose the dictatorship. Amnesty International maintains that the Cuban government almost exclusively uses the charge against dissidents/critics.
An attorney cannot practice in Cuba unless he or she works for the government. Consequently, there are many oppositional lawyers who have no professional employment and cannot represent victims of illegal charges in court. Thanks to the support of a number of aid organizations, many of these people have begun going town-to-town to enlighten citizens regarding the country’s established legal process. These attorneys are leading community training sessions on how to to effectively file paperwork and navigate the harsh courts system to establish proper record and defense for charges levied against innocent citizens.
The Fundacíon Rescate Juridico (FRJ) funds the attorneys who are providing valuable legal aid to those whose rights have been grossly violated. In addition, these professionals are providing insight and instruction regarding the theory of democracy and lawmaking, the multi-party system, unionization, and civil rights. This funding provides travel expenses, costs of teaching aid, and meager stipends to cover living expenses.
The Fundacíon Rescate Juridico (FRJ) recognizes that education is key to overcoming the severe human rights abuses and resulting sense of helplessness suffered by citizens under the Castro regime. We are committed to developing, coordinating, and sustaining the following programs that are essential to establishing and building a democratic civil society that values its citizens and creates a thriving, free nation for independent political thought, science, culture, and modern, international advancement.
Spread the Word Project
The Fundacíon Rescate Juridico (FRJ) recognizes that information obliterates ignorance and ignites a new spirit of hope and progress. The organization is keenly aware of the current inability for Cuban citizens to have basic knowledge that will help them deal with police abuse;water and resource shortages; chronic and communicable illness and proper treatment; employment; safe housing; and matters regarding the population's general health and welfare.
Many independent journalists are available, willing, and able to establish a countrywide free press and pamphlet distribution service. Like other professionals who are shut out from their vocations because they do not adhere to the tenets of the communist government, these reporters, researchers, and writers require minimal travel and living expenses to create communications that are exponentially more valuable than the cost. This is especially true when news of missing or jailed individuals becomes available to their friends and relatives.
The FRJ joins other leading aid organizations in supporting this educational media production and distribution. For donor and sponsorship opportunities, see How You Can Help.
Democratic Legacy Project
In cooperation with the Cuban Liberty Council and the University of Miami Institute of Cuban and Cuban-American studies, the Fundacíon Rescate Juridico (FRJ) is bringing groups of 20-30 Cuban dissidents to Miami for a week-long seminar that provides in-depth education on the principles of democracy; organizing parties, elections, and referendums; and establishing policy to protect the precious civil/human rights of all Cubans.
The events held at Casa Bacardi on the University of Miami campus feature local, state, and federal lawmakers, business leaders, historians, and educators who share their experience and expertise to provide a stable foundation on which, upon returning to Cuba, the dissidents can begin building a democratic civil society. Dialogue focuses on how European countries overcame communism, what methodology worked, and why. Attendees have the opportunity to objectively view Cuba's communist regime and the history that made it possible. Participants receive encouragement through the presentation of a wealth of possibilities for change that occurs when a people become united in singular purpose.
In addition, the FRJ provides each participant with a smart-phone and an electronic tablet computer preloaded with informational and communications software. Local bi-lingual electronics experts instruct the dissidents on function and use of the sophisticated devices.
With each seminar catering to a different audience, the FRJ intends to present a series of varied workshops. While the inaugural seminar served key dissidents; others are targeted toward the younger generation; families who have suffered abuse, imprisonment, or their loved ones have been executed by a firing squad. Also, Afro-Cubans, who represent a heavily persecuted ethnic group, will be invited to explore their own struggle for freedom.
The costs to bring each invitee involves acquisition of visas and passports; air travel; event presentation fees, food and entertainment; tablets, smartphones, phone cards, and accessories. Ideally, if possible, lodging is provided free of charge in the homes of local exiles who are active in Cuban aid organizations. The FRJ has a number of fundraising and sponsorship opportunities in which donors can financially contribute to the dawn of a new democratic revolution in Cuba. For more information, see How You Can Help.
Photos and affiliations of the Cuban dissidents who attended the inaugural educational event that focused on the principles of democracy and the establishment of a democratic civil society that values its citizens' human rights.
Following their return to Cuba, most were detained and questioned. All agreed that despite the abuse they suffered, their educational experience was so invaluable that they were willing to suffer the resultant persecution. There was an outpouring of interest and requests from other opposition leaders throughout Cuba to participate in upcoming events.
Fundación Rescate Jurídico @ 2016