Cuba freed four dissidents jailed in 2003 as a way to mollify human-rights critics. After their arrival in Spain following their release, the four explained how bad it got for them in Cuban prisons, and held out little hope that Fidel Castro’s retirement would improve conditions for Cubans:
Four dissidents freed this week after five years in inhumane conditions in a Cuban prison have revealed the dark side of Fidel Castro’s regime.
The four – José Gabriel Ramón Castillo, Omar Pernet Hernández, Alejandro González and Pedro Pablo Álvarez – described regular beatings, humiliation and arbitrary punishment with long periods of solitary confinement in cramped cells with cement beds.
Mr Castillo, 50, a journalist who wrote articles critical of the regime, told The Sunday Telegraph: “It was terrible. It was like being in a desert in which sometimes there is no water, there is no food, you are tortured and you are abused.
“This was not torture in the textbook way with electric prods, but it was cruel and degrading. They would beat you for no reason even when you were in hospital.
“At other times they would search you for no reason, stripping you bare and humiliating you. There was one particular commander at a jail in Santa Clara who seemed to take delight in handing out beatings to the prisoners.”
Fifty-eight of the original 75 arrested in 2003 remain in those conditions, as well as hundreds of other political prisoners held by Castro’s dictatorship. Pernet has spent 21 years, off and on, in prison for his opposition to Castro. He had his collarbone and leg broken during his latest stretch.
This is the real legacy of Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, and the rest of the communist revolutionaries in Cuba. When people wear Che T-shirts or hang Che flags in their offices, this is what they endorse. We can differ on how best to improve the lot of the Cuban people and prepare for the post-Castro era, but let no one be fooled into thinking that the ruling junta is anything other than a brutal, oppressive, and inhumane regime.
One thought on “A Look Into Fidel Castro’s Cuba”
Captain’s Quarters has a post about Cuba, specifically the treatment of political prisoners there. Just to remove any doubt before I start, let me quote a little of the final paragraph with approval:
We can differ on how best to improve the lot …
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