The criminalization of protest thus acquires its Country Email List most complete outline. Protesting is criminal because it would be part of an act of foreign aggression, against the political regime, and because it would resort to common crimes against Country Email List public order. Both in governments of the left and of the right, in Latin America, we have seen this type of criminalization. The Cuban political system, which constantly legitimizes itself through an exceptionalist discourse, does not deviate a millimeter from the regional modus operandi when it Country Email List comes to prosecuting a protest.
In Cuba, since the 1990s, there has been Country Email List a legal device to criminalize political opposition, as a counterpart to the Helms-Burton Amendment (1996) of the United States Congress, which reinforced the trade embargo. The Law for Country Email List the Protection of the National Independence and the Economy of Cuba, or Law 88, of 1999, approved by the island's Parliament, establishes a series of criminal figures based on the possible support for the economic sanctions of the United States against Cuba in that citizens may incur when Country Email List exercising their rights of expression, assembly or demonstration.
The law is designed in such a wide range Country Email List of interpretive discretion, that a criticism of the single-party political system or the performance of a ruler can be assumed as a subscription to the Helms-Burton Act. Commonly called the "Gag Law", this legal mechanism was used in the trials against 75 peaceful opponents in the so-called "Black Country Email List Spring" of 2003. Although many of those opponents, especially those affiliated with the Christian Liberation Movement and several independent media outlets, publicly opposed the US trade Country Email List embargo, were tried and imprisoned as accomplices of that punitive policy for exercising criticism of the government.