Why So Many Prisoners in Cuba?

By Yanelys Nunez Leyva

HAVANA TIMES – Cuban laws, so restrictive, so absurd, so cruel, can lead anyone to serve deprivation of liberty, having committed a minor crime, or for NOT having committed any crime.

If you read the report presented in January 2020 by the organization Prisoners Defenders, we verify that Cuba has the highest prison population rate in the world, with 794 incarcerated for every 100,000 inhabitants.

How are these figures justified?
Organized crime?
Extreme drug trafficking?
Human trafficking?

There may be a little of all this, but not so much for there to be currently 90,000 inmates in Cuban jails; for there to be more than 200 prisons on the island. For us to be a country of prisoners.

Just under the law of Pre-criminal dangerousness, that is, without having committed any crime, there are 11,000 people deprived of their liberty.

Then there’s the group who are a doubly vulnerable population, the political prisoners, of conscience, that small group of confessed opponents and activists who are charged with fabricated common crimes to justify punishment.

Given the spread of COVID-19 in Cuba, all prisoners matter to me, but political prisoners hurt a little more.

Less than a year ago, a Lady in White, Xiomara Cruz, was the victim not only of the abuse of power by a system, but of its indolence.

While serving an inexplicable sentence, Xiomara became seriously ill in a place that she should never have inhabited, a prison.

Later, her diagnosis was hidden, her illness unattended, her health neglected by the Health Power that has medical missions in more than 60 countries.

At the moment, and faced with the threat of COVID-19, groups such as Estado de Sats, the Cuban Observatory for Human Rights, and independent activists and journalists, demand the release of 123 political prisoners. Joining these initiatives is the least we can do.


Yanelys Nuñez

Yanelys Nuñez Leyva: Writing is to expose oneself, undress before the inquisitive eyes of all. I like to write, not because I have developed a real fondness for nudity, but because I love composing words, thinking of stories, phrases that touch, images that provoke different feelings. Here I have a place to talk about art, life, me. In the end, feeling good about what you do is what matters; either with or without clothing.

12 thoughts on “Why So Many Prisoners in Cuba?

  • April 22, 2020 at 12:06 pm

    The misdeeds of one country do not excuse or mitigate those of a politically different country. Methinks ron that you choose to forget Cuba’s military intervention in twelve additional countries to Angola. What was Cuba’s purpose in being party militarily to the invasion of Israel on Yum Kippur? What was the Castro’s purpose in endeavoring to foment political strife on other continents? What was Dr, Ernesto Guevara de La Serna Lynch doing in Bolivia under a false name, posing as being from the UN and funded by the Castro regime?
    One doesn’t need to be a US sycophant to recognize the military transgressions of the Cuban communist regime.
    Then ron, there is the question of degree! As a journalist you must agree that for example there is a major difference between the D notices in the UK and the laws of Cuba which make criticism of the PCC or the puppet government a criminal offence?
    Finally, you omitted a couple of words when you wrote: “Angola where the government ASKED Cuba to come and help to preserve their revolution” just when ron had that “government been elected?

  • April 21, 2020 at 2:02 pm

    To critics of my critique. I do not turn a blind eye to discrepancies within the Cuban society, within the Cuban government and the bureaucracy. I lived and worked in Cuba for eight years. Editorial José Martí and Prensa Latina. I know about censorship firsthand in Cuba. I also know about censorship in the US and Denmark media as well since I have lived and worked in media in those “democratic” countries.
    Show me, however, how many times Cuban communists have invaded other countries, murdered and attempted to murder other nation’s leaders? Sure, you will point to Angola where that government ASKED Cuba to come and help preserve their revolution against the invading apartheid South African government backed by the US and ironically China. And, apparently, can syncophants can simply ignore the fact that the US has invaded, militarily-economically-politically intervened in every Latin American country over its two centuries+ of existence. How can you self-declared “freedom lovers” simply ignore that the US has conducted approximately 535 aggressive wars against more than 60 countries. (If want facts you can find them, among other places in my books and on my website.)
    Those who attack Cuba from within and without prefer to condemn the Cuban government for misdeeds, which do exist and are relevant to criticize and correct, but you have no right if your are interested in justice and peace to look to the greatest terrorist state in the world for any sort of guidance. The US is a Military Empire and has no mercy, and is not at all interested in what happens to the Cuban people, or any other peoples, for that matter. It is only after wealthy and global power. Wake up and stop whinning.

  • April 20, 2020 at 2:30 pm

    Remember ron, that China does not count those who it confines for “re-education” and “correction” in its statistics and they as recently shown with the Uighars, prior to reporters being banned, are in the millions. As for Russia, who knows? Are all the Gulags empty?
    But what the statistics don’t reveal, is why those people have been imprisoned? Everyone knows about the crime levels in the US and the racism reflected in ethnic grouping of prisoners, and similarly, visitors to Cuba will relate the low level of crime and safety on the streets, so why are 510 citizens out of every 100,000 in prison there?

  • April 20, 2020 at 2:13 pm

    Ron appears to justify anything and everything by governments he considers enemies of his enemy, the US empire. It doesn’t matter if they are a full-time human rights violator on their own people. To him, all repression including the lack of freedom of the press and association, arbitrary arrests and imprisonment for critics of policies or leaders, and forcing people into exile through harrassment, is all justified as long as the perpetrating government is the enemy of his enemy. To each his own.

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