Human rights: rights for all

We live obsessed with the fallacy that things are not what they are until the dominating powers dictate them. It isnít necessary to wait for a law or permit to exercise the basic rights, such as the right to live, the right to freedom and to the right seek happiness. With all the social rights that derive from these premises: the right to work, to health, to culture, to a dignified living, freedom of conscience and its expression through any means, to assemble; the right to diversity and to participate in public life as the addition of all political rights.

The main problem is power. It used to be recognizable. Now it isnít, because multinationals have effective power, which they have taken away from politicians and which weaken basic rights, not only in poor countries. Human Rights has denounced the weakening of social and workplace rights in the United States in corporations like General Motors, McDonalds and General Electric. As the International Work Organization acknowledges, out of the 183 international agreements that regulate work relations in the world, the United States has only signed 14.

And if the oppressed used to be able to stand up against tyrannical powers, whether they were kings or the military, the religious power circles, or the oligarchies, today the omnipotent lava of the economic-financial corporations has escaped our hands.

Itís possible to stand up because defeats, like victories, are never definite. Itís necessary to have a revolution of active goodness that accelerates the arrival of new men and women.

The 21st Century has to be the Century of human rights because the destiny of humanity will be determined. And we are all summoned to this rebellion and conquest because our life and survival depend on it.

Who said everything was lost? The exercise of rights, like the one of liberties, is a duty that accepts no delay.

Before us, the possibilities of freedom, justice and dignity show up. To look back, with rage or nostalgia will only turn us into salt statues that the rain will wash away. We need those rains for the cattle to drink and to irrigate the ditches that the new seeds of a more just for all dusk awaits. Not to be recognized as people, but for the fact that we are were born human beings.

Josť Carlos Gª Fajardo
Translated by Carlos Miguélez

This article was published in the Center of Collaborations for Solidarity (CCS) on 06/28/2004