University of Minnesota

Inter-Am. C.H.R., OEA/Ser.L/V/II.38, Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Cuba, Doc. 12 (1976).






The following was denounced in a communication of August 5, 1971:

“In El Príncipe Castle, Sixth Section, there is a group of ten men, political prisoners, who have been totally isolated from the other inmates since December 19, 1970.

“Their names are: Eloy Gutiérrez Menoyo, Hubert Matos, Pedro Luis Boitel, César Páez, T. Lamas, A. Gamis, L. Blanco, J. Pujal, J. Valls and O. Figueroa.

“The majority of these ten men were kept in the Guanajay Prison and on December 18, they were ordered to collect their few and wretched belongings and were kept totally incommunicated until the next day when they were transferred to El Príncipe Castle and confined in the Sixth Section.

“Since then (exactly seven and a half months ago), the only contact these men have had with other persons is on visiting days, once a month, when one or two relatives are allowed inside the prison. The visit lasts for one or two hours and it is conducted in private (not in the place intended for visits) and nobody else is allowed to see them, nor can they see anybody else.

“They are allowed to use a tiny patio measuring approximately 3 by 10 meters, enclosed on all four sides by huge whitewashed walls which, despite their height, allow the passage of a little sunshine from 12 to 3 p.m.”;

In exercise of the authority granted it by Article 9 (bis) of its Statute, the Commission requested the Government of Cuba, in a note of November 17, 1971, to provide information on the matter and transmitted to it, at the same time, the pertinent parts of the above-mentioned communication, in the manner established in Articles 42 (1) and 44 of its Regulations;

At its twenty-ninth session (October 1972) the Commission noted that the Government of Cuba had not yet been furnished the information requested and that the 180-day period specified in Article 51 of its Regulations had elapsed;

Article 51 of the Regulations reads as follows:

“1. The occurrence of the events on which information has been requested will be presumed to be confirmed if the Government referred to has not supplied such information within 180 days of the request, provided always, that the invalidity of the events denounced is not shown by other elements of proof.

“2. The Commission may make an extension to the term of 180 days in cases in which it finds it justified”;

In view of the systematic silence of the present Government of Cuba in the face of numerous communications received from this Commission, it would serve no practical purpose to make recommendations to that government of the type envisaged in Articles 9 paragraph b) and 9 (bis) paragraph b) of the Statute. However, this does not prevent the Commission from making known to the Assembly the judgments merited by the events denounced;

Neither the formulation of such observations nor, in general, the competence of this Commission to take cognizance of denunciations regarding violations of human rights committed in the territory of Cuba is barred by the measures adopted by the Organization of American States with respect to the present government of that country, since that government has not denounced the Charter of the Organization, as provided for in Article 148 of the Charter, for which reason it is the duty of this Commission to continue to take cognizance of these denunciations,

The inter-american commission on human rights


1. To consider confirmed, through application of Article 51 of the Regulations, the occurrence of the events denounced in the communication of August 5, 1971.

2. To make known to the Assembly that the events in question constitute a very serious violation of the right to liberty and personal security, set forth in Article I of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man, and that such events are imputable to the Government of Cuba.

3. To transmit the text of this resolution to the Government of Cuba and to the claimants.


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