Castro Continues Violating Human Rights
por Agustin Blazquez
Agustin Blazquez and Jaums Sutton refer to the United Nations involvement in such documentation as Against All Hope: The Struggle Goes On, published by Newsmax.com, March 21, 2002. Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission Armando Valladares, who spent 22 years in Castro’s gulag authored the powerful 1984 book Against All Hope.
They write: “it wasn’t until that a group of United Nations ambassadors was able to visit Cuba for 11 days and documented “137 cases of torture, 7 disappearances, political assassinations and thousands of human rights violations.” This trip was summarized in a 400-page report, which was the longest ever to appear on the agenda of the United Nations.
This 1988 report included “locking up political prisoners in refrigerated rooms; blindfolded immersion in pools; intimidation by dogs; firing squad simulations; beatings; forced labor; confinement for years in dungeons called gavetas (drawers or punishment cells); the use of loudspeakers with deafening sounds during hunger strikes; degradation of prisoners by forced nudity in punishment cells.
“Also withholding water during hunger strikes; forcing prisoners to present themselves in the nude before their families (to force them to accept plans for political rehabilitation); denial of medical assistance for the sick; and forcing those condemned to die to carry their own coffins and dig their own grave prior to being shot.”
Jorge Olivera from Havana in an urgent open letter dated February 27, 2006, addressed to the leaders of the U.S., Canada and European Union says, "Given the notable worsening of repression in Cuba against everyone who exercises rights consigned by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, I've decided to write to you asking, today more than ever, your solidarity and support.
"Actions undertaken by the government in the last few months have reached such levels that they could be considered state terrorism. Gangs encouraged by the political police have carried out beatings and raids, among other forms of attack no less alarming. The worst of this repressive spiral is the impunity of the events. Real and potential victims find themselves completely abandoned since there is no institution in the country to handle their complaints.
"The terror has reached a dimension that keeps the Cuban family permanently frightened. The defenselessness and the cruelty of the repressors have taken root in the double moral and the silence of the majority who fear going to jail or receiving the stigma of being a counterrevolutionary and immediately being marginalized and suffering the inherent punishment of a system that tramples on one without anyone caring."