Cuba is a country that, in the past, has struggled with their diplomatic relationship with the United States. After recently gaining a better foreign relationship, Cuba has opened its borders back up to the United States. This causes people to ask an array of questions surrounding the issue of climate change and human rights. Climate change is causing issues in every country in the world, yet Cuba is experiencing a very serious issue. Food security is an increasing concern in many countries throughout the world and as climate change worsens, producing crops becomes harder and harder. As stated in Our World, farmers are having to create alternative ways of growing crops to accommodate the rising temperatures and other environmental issues. Drought-resistant crops are being created along with digging ponds to ensure water supply due to a change in the predictable weather they are used to. This is simply one way in which Cuba is working to combat climate change, an issue that is not only affecting their food source, but also issues with human rights.
Cubans purchasing various goods at a market. Source: Our World
According to Human Rights Watch, Cuba has a many issues that should be addressed in terms of human rights. HRW states that the government controls basic human rights such as freedom of speech and travel restrictions. When the government controls so much of these human rights, they prevent their citizens from being able to do what they want and restrict them from expressing themselves as independent people. Cuba also rejects certain labor laws to avert giving their citizens proper working conditions and wages. OAS states the ways in which governments are supposed to provide their citizens with basic human rights. These human rights are not always met due to a variety of reasons; government control, economic decline, and even climate change can have an effect on human rights. For example, as climate change affects the crops that are providing food for the people of Cuba. As crops begin to fail, it makes it harder for people to have access to basic human rights such as food.
The more and more our global leaders fail to provide us with better resources, the worse climate change. As humans are denied access to beneficial resources that won’t harm us, it will cause more issues with climate change which causes more people to struggle. Cuba also struggles with issues of water insecurity and disease. According to Havana Times, Cuba has struggled with a drought and they are finding issues with the piping which is leading to unsafe drinking water. Due to the piping not being updated in many years and the island being in a drought, they are struggling to find access to clean drinking water which can lead to various diseases. As more and more people are struggling to get clean drinking water, they are more susceptible to diseases and this leads into more issues with human rights. Those who are in a better economic state are more capable of getting access to health care which aids with issues with human rights.
Cuban Communists. Source: Punching Bag Post
United Nations Human Rights states, climate change also causes things such as severe natural disasters. This change in our global weather can be directly linked the man made greenhouse gases. There is a negative effect on humans which, in turn, leads to a negative effect on basic human rights. The topic of equal human rights for all can get a bit difficult when thinking of ideas such as eurocentrism. Eurocentrism is the idea of certain areas of the western world see themselves as the center of everything, meaning all of their ways of life, beliefs, and practices are the correct way and all others are wrong. Farish Noor emphasizes in his writings how people need to go beyond eurocentrism and the idea of everything being black and white. This is shown through many ideas of how many people in America believe they are doing things right and this can reflect upon Cuban culture and lead them to believe they need to do things in an American way. Noor talks about how we can’t depend solely on one idea for what human rights are because some cultures or religions may disagree with these ideals. Although there are basic human rights that need to be met such as access to food and clean water, safe living spaces, fair wages, and many more, but some other rights may not agree with various cultures. Whether caused by climate change or governmental impact or simply societal issues, Cuba has work to do on their human rights and there are many things that need to change to ensure the well-being of all their citizens.