Ernesto Miranda, 18 years old, died while serving his Compulsory military service in Havana, as confirmed by multiple reports on social networks.
The young man, resident in the Cerro municipality, in the capital, was serving in the Artillery Regiment Unit, in La Lisa.
“The news has come to me with great sadness (…) that this child, Ernesto Miranda, lost his life in the Military Service at UM 1900 in La Lisa last week (…) It is too much to see so many youth lose their lives in that institution that can now be accused of being criminal”, revealed Félix Alfredo González in the group of Facebook “No more deaths in the Military Service.”
Félix Alfredo is the father of Annier González, a young man who shot himself on July 4, 2021 with the same rifle that had been placed in his hands to keep him on duty. Since then, Félix has not ceased in his complaints against the Military Service.
Although there is no official information on the causes of death, most suggest that he died after being shot in the head. His family does not recognize that the young man committed suicide
In the post by Félix Alfredo González, a user named Mayra from Feria Avilés, who claimed to be the grandmother of the deceased’s girlfriend, said: “This is being investigated. He was my granddaughter’s boyfriend and we don’t believe he committed suicide. He was an exemplary boy. His family, my granddaughter and we have lost an incredible boy, only 18 years old. He had just started his military life and was a full-time student of his pre-university ”, he described.
For his part, González has stated that this is the third recruit to die this year, as he has learned.
Low the national defense law, in Decree-Law 224, male citizens between the ages of seventeen and twenty-eight must complete Active Military Service for a period of two years. In the case of those who reached university places, this period is reduced by half, but it is still forced. Military service has been compulsory in Cuba since June 1963, as a response, according to the government, to a possible US invasion that has never occurred.
Instead, what does happen every year is that thousands of young people, some minors, leave their homes for military or work units that operate despotic and imposing command structures. In these spaces the boys are not only exposed to degrading treatment that can affect them irreversibly, but also lead to fatal outcomes.
Military service in Cuba
Currently it is not the majority, but less than a third of the total number of countries, which maintain compulsory military service every year, according to what CubaNet was able to verify when consulting a data base of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of the United States.
The CIA has registered that some 66 countries maintain the military service regulated in the legislation as compulsory. However, of these there are 14 that only apply it exceptionally or selectively, randomly affecting a minimal part of their male population. For example, in the case of Brazil, although it is not voluntary, only between 5 and 10% of its youth are recruited each year. Something similar occurs in Guatemala and Equatorial Guinea. While in the Netherlands, Indonesia, Somalia and El Salvador it has not been applied for years, although it is still regulated by law.
Cuba also stands out among the countries with a longer duration. While 12 months of service are regularly established worldwide, Cuba subjects those who will not enter university to two years, only surpassed by Chad and Egypt (3 years), Israel (32 months) and, of course, North Korea. .
The Cuban Military Service incorporates boys from the age of 17 (underage according to international standards), which is lower than the average recruitment age in the world (18 years), although some countries such as Angola, Senegal and Turkmenistan have as Minimum age 20.
As could be verified in the CIA database, only Cuba and North Korea recruit minors every year by force. In fact, the Asian nation has the longest recruitment period, despite having reduced it in 2021 to 7-8 years for men and 5 years for women.
The Cuban regime violates the optional protocol of 2000 regarding the convention on the rights of the child, because the recruitment of minors is allowed. In theory this should be exceptional, voluntary and informed. But in practice adolescents and parents are intimidated and forced to sign their approval.
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