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Human Rights and Cuba

By Fausta | The Bad Hair Blog

23.04.05 | U.N. agency condemns Cuban's human-rights record. Of course Venezuela raps UN for Cuban human rights vote, but at least Argentina and Brazil rap Cuba on human rights. There's no human rights, no human dignity, in present-day Cuba. Let's briefly review some facts on two aspects of Cuban society:

In economic terms, Cuban people live lives of penury:

  • In a fit of unheard-of generosity, Castro More Than Doubles Minimum Wage to $10 a Month. Please. Don't tell me it's worth it "because Cubans have free education and healthcare, and pay no rent". You try getting along on $12/month anywhere in the world.
  • Castro, who recently raised welfare payments to a magnanimous US$6 to US$12, is estimated to be worth $550,000,000. As Orwell once put it, "There was nothing there now except a single Commandment . It ran: ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL BUT SOME ANIMALS ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS".
  • Fidel, however, sees blue skies ahead

      Castro has recently expressed optimism on the state of the island's economy, which is based primarily on improved trade relations with Venezuela and China and the recent discovery of offshore oil deposits.
    Political prisoners in Cuba are housed in latrine-like dungeons:

    Babalu Blog has a video of the horrifying conditions in which political prisoner Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet was kept during the months of November and December 2004.

    The video (also available here) is in Spanish, and not subtitled, but here's my translation. In the video, Dr. Biscet's wife, Elsa Morejón, explains (at great risk to herself) that this is a full-scale replica of the dungeon in which Dr. Biscet was imprisoned, "despite the fact that Cuba has signed international agreements and rules on prisoner treatment".

    Ms Morejón points to a piece of paper with her husband's words on the front wall of the dungeon. Dr. Biscet spent the months of November and December, 2004, including New Year's Eve, in a dungeon like it. She points to the narrow slot on the door, for delivery of food, and in some dungeons the slots are positioned at different heights. "There are no windows, no lights since for a while he didn't have a light bulb, no ventilation, in Cuba, a country with very high temperatures".

    Inside the dungeon she points to a pipe for water, a hole for latrine. She shows the actual shoes he owned during that period, and how the leather rotted. She lists the meager possessions a prisoner is allowed: underwear, a towel, a sheet, toothpaste, cup, toothbrush, soap, deodorant, sometimes prisoners are allowed to have their Bible with them. No bed is provided. The prisoner sleeps on the floor, and "sometimes they are brought a filthy mattress at 10PM".

    The food they are given is unfit for human consumption.

    Ms Morejón asks, "We ask the world to intercede and ask Cuba to set my husband free. He's a man who loves God and justice, who believes in non-violence, and shouldn't be there [in prison], because all he's asked for is to live in democracy in his own country".

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