Weaponizing Justice: Rule of Law and Cuba’s New Constitution


Event Summary This event has passed.

In April 2018, the Cuban National Assembly anointed Miguel Díaz-Canel as the country’s president, the first non-Castro to lead the island nation in almost 60 years. With new leadership came a new Constitution, which ostensibly reflects expanded due process protections for Cuba’s citizens. However, these constitutional rights coexist with a Criminal Code that is routinely employed by judicial authorities to silence dissent and punish political opposition.

What kind of constitutionality exists in Cuba’s one-party state? What nominal rights exist, and are they respected? Does the new Constitution—effective as of April 2019—augur hopes for more freedom of expression and respect for the rule of law?

To answer these questions and pursue a broader discussion on the administration of justice in Cuba, the Inter-American Dialogue is pleased to partner with the International Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights to present “Weaponizing Justice: Rule of Law and Cuba’s New Constitution.” The discussion will include a presentation of the Institute’s new report, “Premeditated Convictions: An Analysis of the Situation of the Administration of Justice in Cuba.”   

Follow this event on Twitter at #WeaponizingJustice and @The_Dialogue.


Michael Shifter

President, Inter-American Dialogue (@MichaelShifter)


Carlos Quesada

Executive Director, International Institute for Race, Equality and Human Rights (@Raceandequality


Luis Carlos Battista

Cuban-American lawyer and host of the Nuestra América Podcast (@lcbattisa)

Caitlin Kelly

Legal Program Officer, International Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights 


Michael Camilleri

Director, Peter D. Bell Rule of Law Program, Inter-American Dialogue (@camillerimj)