An Authoritarianism government is a form of leadership in the country that is focuses on ensuring that the citizens submit to its authority. Most of these governments oppose democracy and political power is concentrated either in the hands of one leader or in a group of a few leaders who are in most cases unelected and yet their power is exclusive and absolute. In most cases all aspects of the citizen's lives are controlled by the government (Linz, 15). Examples of authoritarian leaderships today include the leadership in countries such as Cuba, China, North Korea, Zimbabwe and a number of other countries. This paper focuses life in Cuba.
Cuba is headed by President Raul Castro who replaced his brother Fidel Castro as the President of Cuba, chief of state, and commander-in-chief of the armed forces this was done in February 24, 2008. No election was conducted to elect Raul as the successor. Raul rules with the assistance of other party loyalists. The government of Cuba control almost aspects of the lives of the Cuban people; this is achieved through the use of the Communist Party which yields a lot of influence and its affiliated mass organizations, state security apparatus and government bureaucracy. The Ministry of Interior in Cuba is used by the state to control the people of Cuba.
On religion, Cuba was officially an atheist state between 1959 to early 1990s. This was when the Communist Party stopped its prohibition on anyone who believes in religion to seek membership from the government. In 1991 the constitution was amended and the state became secular instead of the way it was atheist. Religious and private were seized and shutdown in and up to date, the Cuban government has never permitted the study of religious education in their school system and does not allow operation of schools that are privately owned of any kind. Though the constitution of Cuba allows the right of freedom of religion to its citizens, religious groups in Cuba do experience a lot of harassment, interference, and also repression from the government. The Government through the Ministry of Interior ensures that it controls and monitors all the religious institutions in the country. This is done through ways such as surveillance, harassment of religious practitioners and professionals and infiltration.
The Cuban constitution theoretically does provide for courts that are meant to be independent, the constitution subordinates the courts to the Council of State and the National Assembly. The People's Supreme Court is the senior most judicial body in Cuba. There is denial of due process to the citizens of Cuba especially in cases that touch on political offenses. The constitution of Cuba does state that legally recognized civil liberties may be denied a citizen who attempts to oppose the decision by the Cuban people in building socialism.
Although the government of Cuba signed the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in February 2008 it has not ratified or meet the obligations that have are assumed in these treaties. The government has continued to commit a lot of abuses on its citizens and deny the citizens the right to a democratic government. The government is also a signatory of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and it is a member of the UN Human Rights Council, yet it has continued to commit gross human rights violations (Lewis, 75). Many Cuban citizens have been incarcerated by the government for their activities and political beliefs that are peaceful. There are severe limitations to the freedom of press and speech.
Life in an authoritarian government is very difficult to the citizens as everything including their rights are controlled by the government. There is gross violation of human rights, no justice and the people are even affected socially politically and economically.