Age of Majority

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Going to a movie theater to see adult films, buying a beer in some bar, or being hired as an employee, are some of the proofs that we have arrived at the age of majority. When we are fourteen or fifteen years old, every day brings us closer to that legal adulthood we await so anxiously. We approach a milestone that we flaunt in front of friends, while reminding our parents that we are no long so small, that they can no longer treat us like children. But the sensations associated with reaching sixteen are quite distinct from those that overwhelm us when our children reach the age of legal responsibility. It’s exactly then that we realize how physically and mentally immature they are to take on so much responsibility.

I am reflecting on this because my son will reach the age of majority this coming August. He will then be ready–according to the law–to buy alcoholic beverages, to be drafted into the army, or to go to prison. From that moment, nothing he does will be treated by the criminal code as if he were a minor. He could even be called to die or to kill in a war, a not ridiculous option in today’s Cuba. All the teenagers born in the difficult year of 1995 will pass through, in this 2011, the barrier between childhood and adulthood. And I say, without maternal excess, that they are too young, too fragile, to face the burden of being considered adults by a legal system that does not correspond to international norms.

Several weeks ago, the United Nations asked the Cuban authorities to raise the age of majority to 18 years. But there is little hope that such a demand will become fact. Were it to be successful, all the women between 16 and 17 who are selling their bodies to tourists would become minors trapped in child prostitution. And postponing the end of childhood would also deprive the government of a great number of voters–easier to manipulate–in local elections. And, of course, it would temporarily prolong the ascendancy of parents over their children, to the detriment of that of the State over these young citizens.

Now that I am more than twice the age required to exchange the card of a minor for the ID of an adult, I realize they robbed me of a couple of years; that an incorrect legislation placed a responsibility on my shoulders that I did not have the discernment to assume. At that time, I enjoyed it as if it were a letter of freedom, but today I see it as the loss of a legal protection that was my right.


12 thoughts on “Age of Majority

  1. Sudden silence on usa “NEVER” killing the minors…

    Yeah. The “some kind of pragmatic capitalism” has killed more , and has much, much more on a death row still.

    They simply keep them in prison until they reach maturity and then kill them.

    Isn’t that a hypocrisy? Condemn children to death and then keep them in jail until they are adults, in order to killl them.

    And then go to Cuba and patronise Cubans about “murdering” children…

    So typically nazist “some kind of pragmatic capitalist” ideology. Bull shift till their eyes drop and then beat them into the ground with your dogmas.

    That is why the “some kind of pragmatic capitalism” is now self-imploding and self-destructing.

    The lies have reached the size of the sun and are still growing. The weight is now crushing everything in its’ path.

    And the “some kind of pragmatic capitalism” is right in the middle of the road.

    Communist China will be buying the usa for peanuts in a year or so. Start practicing the Internationale. You’ll need it very soon!!

  2. An Adolescent is Killed for Trying to Eat Genips* in Havana

    A14 year old black boy was shot to death by Amado Interian, a retired Castro police major for stealing mamoncillos from a tree in his property. When more than 500 people that attended the funeral threatened to protest, security agents of the regime took over the funeral home to squelch the protest. Another young victim of Castros’ tyranny, which by now surpass te 100 deaths.

    In a democratic country Amado Interian will be in jail and under investigation for the murder of a minor. The regime media has kept silence about the incident, and so far the regime hasn’t take any action to charge the murder.


  3. Sorry, Your blog is good but I have to correct you: the age of consent for tourists in Cuba is 18 years of age. A tourist caught with a 16-17 year-old girl risks jail.

    I have lived in Cuba between 2002-2008.


  4. The copy and paste burgermeister is obviously well introduced to drugs for delusions and other mental troubles. I had to look up those suggested names to find out what are they and for what they are.

    So I was right about that too.

    As if I was expecting any other outcome… Of course not.

  5. Damir, Amir whatever you prefer! Keeping your post logs with me and posting them here! Get some Xanax (Alprazolam) soon!

    Julio 23rd, 2011 at 20:46

    Julio 23rd, 2011 at 20:42

    Julio 23rd, 2011 at 20:31

  6. To the lies in the post 2, here’s the TRUTH:

    your 22 “cubans” were actually 22 usanian children who were sentenced to death and executed.

    Your typical hypocrisy that I am talking about constantly, shines through gloriously. Every children was left to reach maturity and then simply murdered.

    Un the usa, not in Cuba.

    So your statement that your “democratic” society “never” kills children is merely a paranoid, schizofrenic lie.

    And there’s an organisation that figths against the usanian nazist gulag to free the children, hundreds of thousands of them, from life in prison sentences.

    triple w dot

    Some “free” and “democratic” “paradise” you have there in the nazist gulag.

    Liars, manipulators and brainwashed criminals.

    Who killed 90+ children of socialist orientation yesterday in Norway for no other reason than hatred of leftism?

    A conservative hypocrite with paranoid-schizofrenic problems.

    Do delete this message too “freedom and democracy” fighters.

    I keep screenshots of every message I post. To show to the world what democracy and freedom of speech look like in your fast-dissapearing delusional world.

  7. Beautiful. My posts have been removed yet again.

    The reality and the truth hurt, “freedom fighters”, no?

    Here’s another fact for those rooting for “some kind of pragmatic capitalism”:

    capitalist ideology has imploded and is descending vertiginously into the abyss of hll, where it really belongs.

    To stop the inevitable, who did the “some kind of pragmatic capitalism” ask for help?

    The COMMUNIST China.

    The only successful economy in the world today. China had promissed back in 2010 that they will buy out the debt of all failed capitalist states to help them survive.

    You do understand that that will mean you will all belong to COMMUNIST China very soon, right?

    Bloomberg says so:

  8. Cuban minors executed by fire squad

    The regime change of the age of majority and criminal responsibility from 18 to 16 years, gave it the legal framework to send minors to the fire squad. The Cuban Archives had proved the execution by fired squad of 22 minors from 1959 to May 2004. How many more minors have been killed and will be killed by the sadistic Castro brothers’ tyranny?

    One thing that is unavoidable is change, and when it happens will not be possible to pardon and forget. It is absolutely necessary to judge and condemn the crimes perpetrated by the high-ranking officials of Castros’ tyranny. ¡Justice most be done!

  9. WASHINGTON POST : Mixed messages as Cuban high court hears imprisoned American’s final appeal-Paul Haven-Thursday, July 21

    HAVANA — A hearing before Cuba’s Supreme Court on Friday offers jailed American subcontractor Alan Gross a last chance to get his 15-year sentence for sneaking communications equipment onto the island dismissed.

    The case of the 62-year-old Maryland native, who has been in jail since his arrest in December 2009, has undermined already faltering efforts at rapprochement between the Cold War enemies. Gross was working on a USAID program meant to foster democracy on the Communist-run island, and Cuba considers such programs subversive, noting that until recently U.S. government literature overtly described their aim as fostering regime change.

    American officials say privately they hold little hope of Gross’s conviction being thrown out altogether following oral arguments on Friday, but they say the hearing could do something else: clear the way for the Cuban government to release him on humanitarian grounds.

    Cuban officials have been quietly telling their American counterparts for months that they are sympathetic to Gross’s personal ordeal; he has lost 100 pounds while in jail, his 27-year-old daughter has been diagnosed with breast cancer, his elderly mother is also ailing, his wife is recovering from surgery and the family has been forced to sell their home.

    But they have also indicated the legal process must play out before they even consider a presidential pardon or other form of humanitarian release. U.S. consular officials are expected to be present at Friday’s hearing, as is Gross’s Cuban attorney. Gross’s American lawyer, Peter Kahn, issued a statement Wednesday saying his client’s wife, Judy, will not be able to attend because she is still recovering from surgery for an undisclosed ailment.

    It is not clear when the Cuban high court might rule following the hearing, though the tribunal usually issues decisions within a couple of weeks.

    A senior State Department official told The Associated Press that Washington has warned Cuban leaders that progress cannot be made in bilateral relations until Gross is freed.

    The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to a lack of authorization to discuss the case publicly, expressed frustration with the mixed message the U.S. has received from Cuban officials in recent months.

    “Either they change their mind every day, which is possible, or they are giving different people different messages, or they are confused, or they are disorganized,” the official said, adding that the U.S. had never received an outright promise that Gross would be freed.

    “I’ve gotten: ‘We will at a certain point be able to talk about his release,’” the official said.

    One American who could play a key role in helping bring Gross home is former President Jimmy Carter, who met with the jailed contractor when he visited the island in March. Despite being showered with kind words by both Castro brothers, the 86-year-old former president left Cuba empty-handed, with Gross still in jail.

    Jennifer McCoy, who directs the Carter Center Americas Program in Atlanta, Georgia, told the AP that the former president has stayed in touch with Cuban leaders since his trip, and has reiterated his concern.

    “We continue to be in contact with the Cuban government about the case, as well as a number of other issues,” she said. “We’re waiting to see the outcome of the appeal, and we hope it will be decided soon.”

    Gross’s arrest gave Cuba a chance to shine a light on the $20 million a year USAID programs, which are backed by many in the Cuban-American community but which Havana consider an attack on its sovereignty. Gross was working for a Bethesda, Maryland-based subcontractor called DAI on a contract worth nearly $600,000.

    The case has led to a debate in Washington over the value and wisdom of such programs, with Sen. John Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, putting a legislative hold on funding for 2011. Kerry said last week he was working with the State Department and USAID to resolve the issue and that the hold would likely end soon.

    Gross has acknowledged illegally carrying satellite communication equipment into the country, apparently to set up an unofficial Internet platform to circumvent heavily state-controlled Web access.

    His lawyer says he was only trying to help the island’s tiny Jewish community. Those close to the case say the defense believes Gross should never have been convicted under a Cuban statute known as Article 91, which equates his activities with crimes against the state.

    They say that while he acknowledged wrongdoing at his March trial, Gross never meant any harm to the government and should have been judged on lesser charges. Even if his conviction on those lesser charges were to be upheld, Gross’s age, time served and good behavior in prison would make him eligible for release.

    “Friday’s hearing affords Alan another opportunity to reiterate, through his Cuban counsel, that his actions on the island were never intended to be — and in fact never were — a threat to the Cuban government,” said Kahn, Gross’ American lawyer.

  10. To elaborate, I don’t think that if the Cuban government increased the age of majority to 18 years it would prolong the ascendancy of parents over their children in the slightest. Especially in a state such as Cuba, where the government has such total control of children’s upbringing. In any case, 18 years is way past the age of natural adulthood.

    On the other hand, if I was a Cuban parent, I’d probably want it raised to 18 years also if it kept my child out of the army for 2 more years. But long before then, like many of my Cuban friends, I probably would have thought of some scam to keep him out of the Cuban army, a horrible place for any human being.

  11. Yoani, I sympathize with your fears as a parent, but what’s the point of changing the age of majority from 16 to 18 or 21 or 25 or 35? I don’t believe Americans are more mature because of such legislation, quite the contrary.

    The real malady is a government that treats its citizens as children unable to make decisions, and nowhere is that more true than in Cuba. The Cuban government (and all governments) should get out of the business of parenting children and leave that to a child’s parents, who can usually do a much better job. That’s my opinion at least.

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