NEW YORK - Amnesty International wants the U.S. government to rethink its embargo against Cuba, a measure the group said has not helped improve human rights.
“We recognize that the embargo is an ineffective mechanism for promoting human rights, and the organization is gravely concerned that in some situations it has contributed to abuses,” said Dr. William F. Schulz, executive director of Amnesty International USA.
In a report released Monday, the group criticized a recent crackdown on Cuba’s opposition, the country’s use of the death penalty and the quick trials and executions of three men convicted of trying to hijack a ferry.
Havana has defended the crackdown as necessary for national security and justified the use of the death penalty to stop a wave of armed hijackings earlier this year.
While Amnesty International said that the harsh measures were “reprehensible,” it also said the embargo has failed to stop such practices and may have been used as an excuse for Cuba’s “repressive policies.”