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Further, the coverslips were labelled with a scotch band on an external side for correct handling, fixed on a circular evaporation plate mm diameter , and finally exposed to gold vapors in the evaporator. After the annealing procedure, the coverslips underwent an additional cleaning process according to the procedure describe by Jia et al.

The coverslips were subsequently washed with 1. An acquisition time of 30— s was studied. The stability of SERS spectra over five weeks for gold nanostrutured coverslips modified with thiol-DNA probe with an acquisition time of 10—30 s and using a D0. It is well known that the SERS properties of gold nanostructures are strongly influenced by the size, distribution, and spacing between particles [ 8 ]. In the preparation of the AuNP process, including cleaning, evaporation, and annealing protocol, the morphology of the substrate can be modulated by controlling different experimental conditions, such as the Millipore and Decon 90 distilled water ratio, gold film thickness, evaporation pressure, evaporation rate, annealing time, and annealing temperature.

In our experiments, three parameters—the thickness of the evaporated gold film, the annealing temperature, and the annealing time—played an important role in the morphology of the gold nanoparticles and SERS properties. Evaporated gold films of 2 nm, 4 nm, 6 nm, and 8 nm on coverslips showed different colors, from light blue 2 nm Au to blue 4 nm Au , to light green 6 nm Au , or to darker green 8 nm Au. These colors changed significantly for each gold thickness after 3 h of annealing at different temperatures. The highest temperature produced a violet color for the 2 nm gold film, whereas for the 4 nm, 6 nm, and 8 nm films, the color appeared from light violet to dark purple, respectively Figure 1.

SEM images of the evaporated samples and the annealed samples are shown in Figure 2. The size of the gold nanoparticles increased with the increase of the thickness of the film 2 nm, 4 nm, 6 nm, and 8 nm , which corresponded to the color variation before and after annealing at different temperatures.

In conclusion, the temperature definitively influenced the sizes and shapes of the gold nanoparticles and the interparticle distances, with respect to the gold thickness evaporated on the coverslips. For these samples, the particle size distribution, and the proportion of background are reported in Figure 4 A,B. Figure 4 A shows that by increasing the thickness of gold, the size of the AuNP nanoparticles and their distribution percentage increase.

Similarly, the size of nanoparticles affects the interdistance between particles. Thus, after the annealing of 2 nm Au film on the glass, the AuNPs ranged mainly from 6 size distribution For 6 nm Au, the AuNPs ranged from 20 On the other hand, it was found that the proportion of background for the coverslips coated with four different gold thicknesses Figure 4 B was the smallest for 4 nm Au Additionally, for coverslips coated with 6 nm and 8 nm Au, the background was On other hand, the nanoparticle size distribution and the proportion of background for SEM images Figure 2 are analyzed using the public domain ImageJ software platform, developed at National Institutes of Health Figure 6.

Similar sample evolution was obtained for glasses after 6 h at the same temperature when the AuNPs ranged from 10 The coverslips annealed for 9 h showed a high distribution at 5—10 nm However, as shown in Figure 6 B, the proportion of background increased following the evaporated gold film thickness, becoming thicker over time: 9 h In detail, even though the sample annealed for 9 h had a very high distribution of On the other hand, the samples annealed for 1 h and 3 h had lower proportions compared with the samples annealed for 6 h and 9 h.

These substrates proved to be inappropriate for SERS measurements, because the glass slide produced strong fluorescence interferences that abnormally altered the optical signals. Therefore, several solid supports are here proposed for SERS investigations: plastic petri dishes, glass coverslips, plastic pipettes, Eppendorf tubes, plastic cuvettes, and quartz crystals microbalance QCM Supplementary Materials , Figure S1. The SERS measurements show that the best solid supports were the ultrafine glass coverslips for further gold nanostructuration due to the absence of fluorescence interferences.

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The SERS tests were carried out in the presence of a model molecule, 1,2-bis- 4-pyridyl -ethene, which has interesting bonds and atoms giving good SERS spectra when deposited on annealed gold coated coverslips, as demonstrated in Figure 7. Whatever the wavenumber, the intensity variation exhibited an autonomous decay when the concentration of BPE decreased.

A linear fit was used to model the experimental SERS measurements. As has been indicated in this report, since all the communications media have been state-run. The functions of the mass media in Cuba, and especially the written press, may be better understood when viewed in light of the functions assigned to them by the doctrine of the party in power in Cuba today.


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The written newspapers are assigned the functions of agitation, propaganda, organization, and self-criticism. These functions presuppose a shared and unified political outlook, while at the same time they are geared to eliminating the sectors that might oppose this basic conception.

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Thus, the task of agitation is part of the ideological struggle, and therefore does not necessarily coincide with the objectivity and veracity that are at the basis of the information function. In view of the propaganda function given the press by the state, the press is also a channel of education and indoctrination in Marxism-Leninism. Therefore the daily newspaper Granma , Cuba's main paper, is the organ of the Communist Party Central Committee, and devotes much of its content to that objective.

The frequent discrepancies between the two newspapers led to the decision to merge them and to adopt its current character. As indicated in this report, the main newspapers in Cuba reflect only the viewpoints of the government.

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Only to a very limited extent do they report on the debates that take place within the high-level organs of state. As a result, self-criticism is also limited, i. It is a role the press plays with a view to transmitting the grievances of the grass-roots to the top echelons of power. Nonetheless, in no way do the discrepancies overstep the limits set by the requirements of ideological conformity, i. The limits set by the governing party of Cuba on any type of criticism that represents open opposition to the regime encompass reprisals that range from being laid off, to proceedings that result in prison sentences.

Such reprisals, as well as the lay-offs, have led many journalists fired for political reasons to form independent news agencies to provide information to foreign media outlets. These journalists, however, are subjected to all types of harassment, including searches of their homes, and confiscation of equipment facsimile machines, tape recorders, cameras, videotapes, etc. During the period covered by this annual report, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has received abundant information that confirms the information in the preceding paragraphs.

Following are some of the cases that describe the intimidating measures adopted by the Cuban State:. The events occurred in Havana, on March 2, On July 11, , members of the State Security force searched his home, seized a facsimile machine, and disconnected his phone service. Nonetheless, the court clerk refused to admit the document, stating that it had no legal basis. Roxana Valdivia, correspondent of Reporters without Borders and member of the Independent Press Agency, was detained May 22, , and held for interrogation for 10 hours.

Since, she has continuously received threatening phone calls. On July 12, , one day before the anniversary, Rafael Solano, the director of "Habana Press," was detained for interrogation by State Security agents. During his detention he was accused of writing articles with a view to damaging the system through subversive radio stations and newspapers, and informed that a proceeding was begun against him under charges of "enemy propaganda. After 11 hours of interrogation he was taken to his residence and placed under house arrest.

The following day he was taken once again to the State Security offices, where he was given an official warning to suspend his "enemy propaganda" activities involving providing information to the foreign press. Also on the second anniversary of the sinking of the 13 DE MARZO tugboat, July 13, , there were a series of arrests and house searches of journalists who try to report outside of the official press.

The foregoing account is a motive of deep concern to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, as it shows that in Cuba there is no freedom of the press that would allow for different political views, which are fundamental for a democratic regime. To the contrary, radio, television, and the print media are instruments of ideological imposition that follow the dictates of the group in power and are used to transmit the messages from that group to the grass-roots and the intermediate levels.

The American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man sets forth the right to justice and due process of law in the following articles:. Every person may resort to the courts to ensure respect for his legal rights. There should likewise be available to him a simple, brief procedure whereby the courts will protect him from acts of authority that, to his prejudice, violate any fundamental constitutional rights. Article XXVI. Every accused person is presumed to be innocent until proved guilty. Every person accused of an offense has the right to be given an impartial and public hearing, and to be tried by courts previously established in accordance with pre-existing laws, and not to receive cruel, infamous or unusual punishment.


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The doctrine of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights establishes that the effective observance of the guarantees contained in the articles cited is grounded in the independence of the judiciary, which derives from the classic separation of powers. In effect, if one seeks to protect the rights of individuals in the face of possible state actions, it is essential that one of the organs of that state enjoy the independence needed to enable it to pass judgment on both the actions of the executive and the legality of the laws passed and even the decisions issued by members of the judiciary itself.

Therefore, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights considers that the effective independence of the judiciary is an essential requirement for the practical observance of human rights in general. In that context, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights should reiterate, once again, that in Cuba there is still de facto and de jure subordination of the administration of justice to the political authorities. In effect, during the period covered by this report, the constitutional and criminal provisions have not changed, nor has the practice of the Cuban authorities.

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The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights considers that the mere constitutional stipulation of the independence of the judicial organs with respect to political power is not a sufficient condition for ensuring the proper administration of justice. As this separation of powers is not provided for in the Constitution, the administration of justice is subjected, in fact and in law, to the political authorities.

As derives from Article of the Constitution, the subordination of the courts of justice to the National Assembly of People's Power, and especially to the Council of State, makes the courts depend on the political authorities. This relationship is reinforced by the function of the Council of State, to exercise "the legislative initiative and regulatory power; decision-making and issuance of rules binding on all the courts, and on the basis of its experience, to give binding instructions in order to establish a uniform judicial practice in the interpretation and enforcement of the law.


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For its part, Article 74 of the Political Constitution provides that the "President of the State Council is the head of state and the head of Government. Accordingly, the subordination of all social affairs in Cuba to the political power; the political practice of the regime and the juridical order on which that practice is based; the excluding nature of any different political concept and the absence of effective guarantees that allow individuals to claim their rights from the State--all of these factors together allow the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to consider that this is a totalitarian political system.

It is also important to note that the Council of State,--a political organ-- issues rules "binding on all the courts. This ideological and political bias has as its cornerstone Article 5 of the Cuban Constitution:. The subordination of the administration of justice to the political authorities sparks great insecurity and fear in the citizenry, and is reinforced by the weak state of procedural guarantees, especially in those trials that may directly or indirectly affect the political system in place. The procedural guarantees are set forth in the Constitution at Articles 59, 61, and Article No one shall be tried or convicted by other than a competent court under the laws prior to the offense and with the formalities and guarantees established by these laws.

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Every person accused has the right to defense. No violence or coercion of any kind shall be brought to bear to force persons to testify. Any statement made in violation of this precept is void and the persons responsible shall be punished as provided by law. The criminal laws have retroactive effect when favorable to persons being prosecuted or already convicted. No other laws shall have retroactive effect unless otherwise provided out of considerations of social interest or public utility.

All citizens shall have the right to direct complaints and petitions to the authorities and to receive the attention or pertinent responses, and at an appropriate place, pursuant to the law. In practice, however, these procedural guarantees are inoperable. The main limitation is the Constitution itself, which provides at Article 62 that none of the freedoms recognized in the Constitution can be exercised "against the existence and aims of the socialist state.

Therefore the provisions of this article can be considered to permeate all political, economic, social, and cultural life in Cuba. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights also calls into question the setting of constitutional limits on rights and liberties based on criteria so vague and imprecise as, for example, "the decision of the Cuban people to build socialism and communism.

Consequently, the only governing party in Cuba will ultimately decide, in each case, whether the exercise of a given freedom or right is opposed to this postulate. The guarantees deemed to be associated with impartial procedure generally include the right to be informed of accusations against one's person, the right to choose defense counsel, the right of the accused to confront his accusers, the right of the accused and his counsel to have sufficient time to prepare the defense, the right of the accused to bring witnesses and examine them, and the right of the accused and defense counsel to be advised in timely fashion of the trial date.

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The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has been informed that the exercise of the legal profession also suffers from lack of independence.