[JURIST] Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque [official profile, in Spanish] signed two international human rights treaties on Thursday, making Cuba party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights [texts]. Both treaties build upon ideas contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights [text], to which Cuba is already a signatory. In December 2007, Perez announced plans to sign the treaties [JURIST report] and also said that Cuba would begin allowing UN observers to monitor its human rights [VOA report] beginning in 2009. AP has more.
TheCuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation (CCDHRN) [El Pais backgrounder, in Spanish] noted in January that although the number of political prisoners in Cuba [JURIST archive] has decreased from 283 at the end of 2006 to to 234 at the end of 2007, human rights abuses continue [JURIST report] in the communist Caribbean state.