SITUATION OF POLITICAL PRISONERS IN CUBA
A. Right to Live1
1. A communication of May 15, 1973, states:2
“We wish to advise Your Excellency that the life of the student Pedro Luis Boitel is in danger as a consequence of recent tortures. Boitel is at present arrested in Castillo Principe, Havana, Cuba, partially crippled as a result of previous tortures and ill treatment. We request urgent action to save his life.”
In a note dated May 24, 1972, the Commission requested the corresponding information from the Cuban government, transmitting the pertinent parts of the report, in accordance with Articles 42 and 44 of its Rules of Procedure.
Another report on the same subject was received on May 28 of the same year. It stated:
“I do not think it is necessary to tell you who belong to the Spanish-speaking world, the deep sorrow felt by us, the exiled Cubans, at this terrible time, in which the news of Boitel’s murder has reached us, nor do I believe it necessary to tell his story since you should know it.
But just in case you do not, this young, courageous, upright and Christian Cuban had been kept prisoner in Cuban prisoners for almost eleven years, and was one of the most persecuted, humiliated and ill-treated political prisoners in Latin America. He was very often cruelly punished and submitted to terrible tortures, to the point that he became a cripple, losing first the use of his legs and then his sight, as a matter that apparently caused no concern to any organization. I have written many letters requesting help for this unfortunate man without getting even a reply to them and now, only a few days ago, he has been stabbed to death.”
In a note of June 6, 1972, the Commission again requested the Cuban government for the corresponding information.
After the expiration of the statutory term without a reply from the Cuban government to those requests for information, the Commission adopted a decision on this case (OEA/Ser.L/V.II.39, doc.4 rev. 2) in its thirtieth session (April 1973).
In the resolution, following a detailed account of the denunciations sent to the Commission since 1965, reporting on the situation of the political prisoner Boitel, and of the steps taken by the Commission before the government of Cuba and the systematic silence of the Cuban authorities in the face of the Commission’s requests for information, the Commission decided to make no recommendations to that government in accordance with Articles 9.b and 9 bis.b of its Statute since they would serve no practical purpose, and to transmit the denounced facts to the General Assembly, as a most serious instance of violation of the right to life, liberty, and security of human beings, set down in Article I of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man.
The resolution was transmitted to the Cuban government in a note dated June 15, 1973 and submitted to the General Assembly of the Organization in the Annual Report of the Commission for that year.3
2. A communication dated 10 October 1971, said:4
“We request your intervention in favor of political prisoners in Cuba and, very particularly, in the prison of Manacas, Las Villas, where Mr. Oriol Acosta y García was murdered in his cell and others have been wounded. Mr. Oriol Acosta was murdered on 5 August, 1971.”
By note dated March 29, 1972, the Commission requested the Cuban government for the corresponding information.
Since no reply to the request for information was received from the Cuban government within the statutory term the Commission adopted a resolution on this case (OEA/Ser.L/V/II/30, doc.6 rev.2 dated April 27, 1973) in its thirtieth session (April 1973).
The preamble of the resolution mentions the application of Article 9 (bis) of the Statute, under which the Cuban government was requested for the corresponding information, as prescribed in Articles 42 of 44 of the Regulations. It states that at the time of the twenty-ninth session, in October 1972, when the term of 180 days established in Article 51 of the Regulations had elapsed, the Cuban government had not furnished the information requested. Under the terms of that article, the occurrence of the events on which information has been requested from the government was presumed to be confirmed and it was deemed that no practical purpose would be served by making any recommendation as provided for in Article 9.b and 9 (bis) b of the Statute and that the General Assembly should be made cognizant of the light in which the Commission saw the denounced facts. Consequently, in the resolutive part, the Commission presumed that the charges against the Cuban government were true and advised the Assembly that they constituted a most serious violation of the right to life, liberty and security of human beings, established in Article I of the American Declaration.
The resolution was transmitted to the government of Cuba in a note of June 15, 1973 and communicated to the General Assembly in the Annual Report of that year.5
3. A communication of April 16, 1974, stated:6
“For almost fifteen years Cuban political prisoners have been subjected to a cruel, inhumane and degrading prison system.
This situation has been denounced by the prisoners themselves by means of hunger strikes and the petitions of humane treatment in compliance with the Declaration of Human rights and the agreements on human rights that have been signed by Cuba.
There have been cases of persons who were arrested only to be released after years of imprisonment without knowing the charges against them. Others, who were imprisoned for years, without trial of judgment, were taken out of prison and shot out right. One of the first instances of the latter was that of the participants in the armed revolt in the El Escambray mountains late in 1960. Those who were not killed during the military operations were sent to the Isla de Pinos prison, still open at that time, without trial or judgement. After more than two hears, in July-August 1963, a group of those prisoners was taken out of prison, taken to the mainland and machine-gunned when they were getting out of the trucks in a place known as Torre de iznaga, Zona del Condado, in the province of Las Villas. Twenty-one prisoners died under the fire of machine guns. We can furnish the names of twelve of them, reserving the right to complete the list at a later date. The victims were: Carlos Curbelo del Sol, Carlos Montalvo, Zacarías García, Alejandro Toledo, Agustín Zerguera, Ruperto Ulacia, Liste López, Ignacio Zuñiga, Nené Fernández, Ramón Pérez, Alejandro Lima y Blas Marín. Ruiz Mayor and the youngster Aldo Chaviano were the survivors of this massacre.
Mention should be made of the lot of Porfirio Remberto Ramírez, captain in Fidel Castro’s rebel army, who was President of the Students’ Federation at the Universidad Central de la Provincia de Las Villas. Porfirio Ramírez had been a combatant in the fight against the former régime. But this student was an idealist and a convinced believer in democracy, and he took to armed revolt. He was captured and summarily tried. At a certain time he was led to a place known as Campamento La Campana in Las Villas, and shot.
Since 1 January 1959, thousands of persons have been shot without trial. From the list of such cases, between 1961 and 1970, we have taken the following, as examples: Lydia Pérez León, died during childbirth in the prison for women in Guanajay, at the age of 21, in January 1961. She was refused medical assistance during a pregnancy with complications. Her husband, also a prisoner in another establishment, hanged himself when he heard about the death of his wife and his son.
Juan Pereira Varela (Juanín). Student, 21 years of age. Arrested in Havanna and shot without trial in Pinar del Rio, on December 17, 1961.
Julio Medina, died at Castillo del Príncipe, of an asthma attack, without receiving medical care.
The following also died in 1974, the exact date of death undetermined: José Pereda, Tomás Aguirre, Ramón Quesada, Julio Hernández, Filiberto Polledo Morales, Gastón Vidal, Manuel Cuevas, and Luis Alvarez Ríos.
All of them, except for Roberto López Chavez, who died on a hunger strike without receiving medical care, were killed with clubs, machetes or bayonets, or shot to death, while the famous compulsory labor plan was being enforced. In 1967, the Isla de Pinos prison was torn down, and the prisoners were distributed among the many places of imprisonment on the island of Cuba.
Rafael Fernández Varela, beaten to death at La Cabaña fortress.
Francisco Balbuena Calzadilla, lost his mind and died as a result of the physical tortures he suffered in the concentration camps of Las Gavetas de San Ramón and Tres Maceos, in Oriente.
Eduardo Molina and Alfredo Carrión Obeso, died in the concentration of Melena No. 2, without receiving medical care.
Carmelo Cuadra, died as a result of a hunger strike, without receiving medical care, in La Cabaña, Havanna.
René Amoedo Bueno died of an asthma attack, without receiving medical care, when he was being transferred from the Melena No. 2 concentration camp to Castillo del Príncipe, in Havanna.
José Francisco Mira, who had participated in the Girón invasion, died at Melena No. 2, without receiving medical care.
Esteban Ramos Dessel and Ibrahim Torres Martínez died in “shuttered cells” in Boniato jail, on February 4 and 7 respectively, having been denied medical care. Their corpses were discovered because of the stench.
Lázaro San Martín was shot to death at 5 ½ jail, Pinar del Río, in December 1972.
Enrique García Cuevas died on a hunger strike, without receiving medical care, in cell No. 4 of the new Provincial Jail of Santa Clara, on June 24, 1973.
Diosdado Camejo died of anemia and malnutrition, in Morón jail, early in 1973.
Oscar Morales Pascual died of illness, without having received medical care, in the Security Center No. 4, of Manacas, Las Villas, in March 1973.
Olegario Charlot Pileta. This young Negro died on a hunger strike, without receiving medical care, in the famous “staircase” of Boniato prison, in January 1973.
Marcelo Díaz was imprisoned at the Manacas concentration camp; he was transferred to the G-2 “repressive corps,” in Santa Clara. A few days later his family was informed that he had hanged himself in his cell. This occurred in early 1974.
Manuel Ruiz del Cristo, 56, died of cancer in La Cabaña, Havanna, without receiving medical care, on Monday, January 14, 1974, at 3:20 p.m.
It is worth noting the number of prisoners and of concentration camps with which the Castro administration has filled the martyr island: CENTERS OF IMPRISONMENT.
Pinar del Río province: Taco Taco, Fajardo, El Caribe, El Blai, El Brujo, and San Tonio.
Province of Havanna: Jails: La Cabaña, El Morro, Guanajuay. Forced labor farms: 100 and Jaruco 1 (adult) and 2 (minors), Nuevo Amanecer (formerly América Libre), for women, Valle del Perú, prison for minors under thirteen, and Paseo, Vedado, Combinado del Este (under construction, with capacity for 20,000 prisoners).
Matanzas province: Jails: San Severino and Matanzas. Concentration camps: Aguica and Caballero Milián.
Las Villas province: Jails: Santa Clara, Sagua, Remedios, Sancti Spiritus. Concentration camps: Security center No. 4, Ariza, Condado, and Preprensado.
Camagüey. Forced labor farms: Florida and UMAP.
Oriente province: Jails: Boniato (c0nsisting of huge pavilions, two of which are knows as “The shuttered cells” because the doors and windows have been covered up with steel plates), El Castillito, Baracoa, La Culebra. Concentration camps: El Mijial, Tres Maceos and Gavetas de San Ramón.
“It is difficult to give the exact number of places of imprisonment because, according to whether the number of prisoners or the protests for mistreatment increase, the Government sets up or tears down these jails, abandons some of them, and establishes new ones in other places on the island.
“At present, the women's concentration camp, which with the utmost cynicism was given the name of “America Libre” is being restored and painted, probably to give this grim place of imprisonment an attractive façade, in case some kind of inspection is allowed, while mistreatment and brutality persist inside. It is called “Nuevo Almanecer” ( new dawn), as if its name could disguise the black night of barbaric treatment inflicted there during almost fifteen years of infamy. In this connection, we recall the concentration camps that Hitler showed the International Red Cross during his era, which was also bloodthirsty and disgraceful.”
In a communication dated June 24, 1974, the Commission requested that the Cuban Government supply pertinent information. After the deadline stipulated in Article 5 of the Regulations for that government to supply the required information, the Commission, in a note dated November 17, 1974, reiterated the request for information, pointing out, in addition, the expiration of the deadline and the presumption of truth established in the article.
In view of the fact that the Cuban Government did not answer the communication, the Commission adopted at its thirty-fifth session, held in May 1975, a resolution on this case (OEA/Ser.L/V/II.35, doc.2, rev.1, of 29 May 1975).
The aforementioned resolution states that, in October 1974, at the time of the thirty-fourth session, the 190-day deadline for supplying the information pursuant to Article 51 of the Regulations had passed and the Cuban Government had not responded. The Commission considers it pointless to make recommendations to that country's government, as provided for in Articles 9, paragraph b and 9 (bis) paragraph b of the Statute, in view of that government's systematic silence. Consequently, the Commission applied Article 51 of the Regulations, in this case, and considered that the events that had been denounced had been proven, classified them as gross violations of the right to life, liberty and the security of human beings, as established in Article I of the American Declaration, and decided to include the resolution mentioned in the annual report submitted to the Assembly.7
The aforementioned resolution was communicated to the Cuban Government in a note dated June 1, 1975.
4. Certain paragraphs of the communication dated April 16, 1974, report the following:8
“… three more Cuban political prisoners have died. They have been left to die in the most inhuman was … having been denied medical care. The first, Esteban Ramos Kessel was 51 and had been in jail for 9 years. He had been sick for some time, during which he never received any kind of medical care. When his condition worsened visibly, we applied to the Jail authorities requesting medical care for the dying man.
The authorities accepted, but only on condition that he renounced his political beliefs … On February 4, he died in a dark corner of one of the “shuttered cells” without receiving medical care. Three days later, on February 7, in identical circumstances and after requesting medical care for humanitarian reasons, Ibrahim Torres Martínez, 29, who had spent almost 11 years in jail, also died without receiving medical care and for lack of such care. A month later, on March 7, another of our men, Adalberto Misa López, 42 years of age, who had spent 9 years in jail, died of asphyxiation. These three additional dead raise to 474 (four hundred and seventy four) the number of people murdered to date in the Havana jails.”
5. Another communication submitted to the Commission on October 24, 1974, which supplements that of April 16, reports the following:9
“On September 28, the political prisoner José Rodríguez Mosquera died in La Cabaña prison. He suffered from heart disease and asthma. Because he refused to wear the uniform of the “rehabilitated,” he spent years dressed only in his undershorts in the humid cells of the two-hundred-year old colonial fortress. Mistreatment and lack of medical care were causes of his death.
In a letter dated September 16, which was smuggled out of La Cabaña prison, another killing is recounted. Place: the Melena concentration camp in Havanna (whether its camp 1 or 2 is not specified). The victim: a political prisoner who had agreed to the rehabilitation plan (it’s important to note that in spite of their acceptance, most are not freed until they have served their full term and in some cases they are not released even then). His name: Miguel, known to his companions as ‘Cachimba.’ What happened: He attempted to escape. The guards fired, wounding him in one leg. He collapsed to the ground in a sitting position. At an order from an officer, the guards continued to fire, and four or five more bullets entered his chest while he was sitting there begging for mercy. This action resulted in a general protest, which had to be put down by force.”
At its thirty-fourth session, the Commission took note of this October 24 communication with its new charges against the Government of Cuba. At the same time, the Commission noted the Cuban Government’s failure to reply to a request for information, dated June 3, 1974, which contained the pertinent parts of the claimant’s original charge, dated April 16. Inasmuch as the time had run out for the Cuban Government to furnish the information requested, as established in Article 51 of the Regulations, it was decided to repeat the request for information and also transmit pertinent portions of additional information received from the claimants, in accordance with Articles 42 and 44 of its Regulations, and mention the expiration of the deadline stipulated in Article 51 and the application of the rule that claims are presumed to be true once that period runs out.
In view of the Cuban Government’s failure to answer, the Commission approved a resolution (OEA/Ser.L/V/II.35 doc.3 rev.1, dated May 29, 1975) at its thirty-fifth regular session, held in May 1975.
The preamble of the resolution points out that no reply was received from the Cuban Government. To the request for information, which was authorized under Article 8 (bis) of the Statutes and drawn up pursuant to Articles 42 (1) and 44 of the Regulations, within the 180-day period established under Article 51 of the Regulations, nor did the Government reply to a second request for information based on new communications received by the Commission from the claimants. Based on Article 51, the resolution considers the allegations to be proven an does not deem it practical to make any of the suggestions provided for in Article 9 (b) and 9 (bis) (b) of the Commission’s statutes, in view of the Cuban Government’s systematic silence on the numerous communications received by the Commission. In addition, the Commission stipulated that the resolution be included in its annual report to the General Assembly, stating that the allegations constitute a very serious case of violation of the right to life, liberty, security and integrity of the individual; equality before the law; a violation of justice; and a violation of protection against arbitrary arrest and due process of law, all of which are set forth in Articles I, II, XVIII, XXV, XXVI of the American Declaration.10
This resolution was sent to the Government of Cuba with a note dated June 1, 1975.
B. The right to a fair trial and protection against arbitrary arrest11
1. A statement in a communication dated March 3, 1971, reads as follows:12
“We will set forth very briefly some aspects of the treatment still being given political detainees and prisoners in 1969, 1970, and 1971.
“In the jails of the Cuban Political Police, the person detained is deprived of his belongings, money, watch, documents, and identification papers. His automobile keys and the clothing he is wearing are taken from him, and his is forced to wear a prison jacket (in Cuba we call it the Chamarreta) with a large P for political prisoner stamped on the back denoting his status as being opposed to the Communist state. Next … his picture is taken, and his weight and measurements are taken, in other words a general prison record is set up for him, identified by a prison serial number, and containing the nature of the crime he is charged with having committed against the Security of the Community State.
Later …, the odyssey of the Cuban political prisoner begins: THE CONFESSION of his activities at any price.
To get the confession, which every political prisoner is forced to make, he is interrogated for endless hours: at times he’s the object of praise, at times of cruel threats, sometimes it’s done by day, at others in the middle of the night; sometimes it’s done on a regular schedule, at others without a break; sometimes it’s conducted by apparently friendly interrogators, at others by men with the look of murderers and hangmen, capable of instilling fear in the bravest and calmest of men.
When the exhausting, interminable interrogations and application of the third degree fail to bring the desired results, the wide range of torture used in the International Communism’s prison system is begun. Some of the methods used are:
a. The political prisoner is put completely stripped into a freezing cold room;
b. The political prisoner, again stripped, is put into a room with a very high temperature;
c. The political prisoner is placed in a room just large enough to hold one person standing. He is kept there for a time calculated to cause terrible pain in his legs, which are supporting all his body weight. Often, the veins in the prisoner’s legs rupture with all the dreadful consequences this brings on.
d. The confinement of the political prisoner in hermetically-sealed rooms with the lights turned on for 24 hours, I repeat, 24 hours a day, so that the prisoner’s mind is disturbed, he loses his sense of time and his sleep cycle is upset, because he is hardly able to sleep on account of the brightness of the lights in the room.
e. Continuous solitary confinement, which is also intended to break the political prisoner’s spirit, so that he prefers to admit to any charge rather than continue to live under such conditions.
f. The introduction of political police agents in prison cells for weeks and sometimes for months at a time, in order to spy on political prisoners, and, by pretending to be concerned about the accusations hanging over them, induce the prisoners to admit to the monstrous accusations of the State Political Police, and attempt to obtain confessions from the prisoners.
g. The taking of political prisoners to places far from the detention centers, where death by firing squad is simulated with blank cartridges, or tracer bullets.
h. The taking of political prisoners out to sea, in ships belonging to the Political Police, and place around the prisoner’s neck a thick rope with a slip knot, to the end of which is attached an anchor or concrete block, and threatening them with being thrown into the sea if they do not quickly confess that certain allegations made against them are true.
i. Political prisoners are sometimes interrogated continuously, without rest, by successive teams of inquisitors, in order to break them down. When the political prisoners beg to be allowed to sleep, he is told that he may not sleep unless he confesses.
j. Political prisoners are sometimes subject to the application of the Russian symphony, which consists in strapping them to a chair, and then cracking a whip with great violence, producing a shattering, deafening noise which damages the ear-drum.
k. As regards physical tortures, a frequent method is to take the political prisoner by the feed and submerge his head in a pool of water, so that he gradually suffers the symptoms of asphyxiation by drowning.
l. Political prisoners are sometimes forced to remain standing, without being allowed to lean on anything, a procedure which disturbs the circulation of the blood.
m. Political prisoners are ordered to remain standing, with their legs apart, and are then beaten on the genitals with steel bands. This produces extreme pain, in view of the effects of these blows on such a delicate part of the human body.
n. “Las tapiadas.” This name has been given to female political prisoners in Cuba incarcerated in cells where they are isolated for violations of the iron discipline of the prison. In these cells there is no light and almost no water. The prisoners are kept naked in a very confined space. Their food is served to them at different times of the day, so that they lose all notion of time. They may not receive visits or letters. They remain there, in a state of confusion, for weeks at a time.
o. When the political prisoner is a person of some importance, he is kept locked up in a room, totally isolated from the outside world, He is not allowed to sleep. The temperature of the room is kept high, and electric light bulbs burn constantly. He is constantly sweating, but is not allowed to take a bath, nor to clean himself in any way. As a result of this treatment, he develops a skin rash. This eventually develops into open wounds, which cause the political prisoner terrible pain.”
2. A communication of August 5, 1971, states that:13
“In the Castillo de El Príncipe, in Section Six, there is a group of 10 men who are political prisoners, and who have been totally isolated from the rest of the prison population since December 19, 1970.
Their names are: ELOY GUTIERREZ MENOYO, HUBERT MATOS, PEDRO LUIS BOITEL, CESAR PAIZ, T. LAMAS, A. GAMIS, L. BLANCO, J. PUJAL, J. VALLS, AND O. FIGUEROA.
Most of these ten men had been in the Guanajay Prison. On December 18, they were told to collect their few pitiful possessions, and were kept completely incommunicado until the following day, when they were transferred to the Castillo de El Príncipe and incarcerated in Section Six.
Since that date (exactly seven and a half months ago), the only contact these men have had with other people has been on visiting day, which occurs once a month, when one or two relatives are allowed to enter. The visit, which lasts one or two hours, is made in private ( and not in a place reserved for visits); no one else may see them, nor may they see anyone.
They have a small courtyard measuring approximately 3 x 10 meters, enclosed by four huge whitewashed walls which, despite their height, allow some rays of sun to penetrate; these they enjoy from 12 to 3 in the afternoon.
The Commission, in a note dated November 17, 1971, requested the relevant information from the Government of Cuba.
When the Government of Cuba did not reply to this request within the required time, the Commission, at its thirtieth meeting, (April 1973), adopted a resolution on this case (OEA/Ser.L/V/II.30 doc.5 rev. 2, of April 27, 1973).
This resolution, after transcribing in the preamble the text of the denunciation, refers to the request for information transmitted to the Government of Cuba, in accordance with the powers granted the Commission by Article 9 (bis) of its Statute, and notes the fact that the aforementioned government had not replied to the Commission within the period of 180 days established by Article 51 of the Regulations.
The Commission believed that there was no point in making any recommendations to the aforementioned government of the kind envisaged in Articles 9, paragraph b and 9 (bis), paragraph b of its Statute, in view of the silence of the Cuban authorities on the matter, and it therefore decided to make known to the General Assembly the proper assessment of the facts of the denunciation.
In the operative part of the resolution, the Commission takes as proven the facts of the denunciation, based on Article 51 of the Regulations, and points out to the Assembly that these constitute a very grave violation of the right to liberty, security and integrity of the person (Article I of the American Declaration), and that the Government of Cuba is thus charged.
This resolution was transmitted to the Government of Cuba in a note dated June 15, 1973, and made known to the General Assembly of the Organization in the annual report corresponding to that year.14
3. In a communication dated April 5, 1974, which was included in case 1905, appears a list of political prisoners in the prison of Guanajay, Province of Havana, who are suffering ill-treatment and lack of medical care. The list is as follows:15
1. Teodoro González Alvarado.
2. Pedro Gutiérrez Ascano
3. José A. Jimenez Caballero
4. Dagoberto Romero Figueredo
5. Reinaldo Pérez Rodríguez
6. Roberto Rojas Venereo
7. Santiago Bayolo
8. Marcelo Molgado Cruz
9. Servando Infante
10. Carlos Pons Wottu
11. Jesús Garabote Fernández
12. Juan R. Díaz
13. Lázaro Fraile Vichot
14. Giordano Gómez
15. Juan F. Faldes Camajo
16. Pedro Delgado Moya
17. Raúl Jara González
18. Ramón Alfonso López
19. Germán González Regalado
20. Jacinto Río Ramos
21. Orlando Fonticella Duquesne
22. Wilfredo Martínez Reque
23. Carmela N. Cartaya
24. Delio Blanco Soto
25. Santiago Méndez García
26. Amable Montesino Rubio
27. Emilio Lázaro Pacheco
28. Leonel Almeida Mates
29. Raúl Fernández Trebejo
30. Orlando Martínez Páez
31. Alberto Bayolo Guerra
32. José Hernández Rodríguez
33. Samuel Carballo
34. José Brandariz Díaz
35. Evariste Paulin Jiménez
36. José Manuel Martínez Fernández
37. Cecilio Figueredo López
38. Alejandro M. Novo Alvarez
39. José Luiz Pérez Comendeiro
40. Ramón Fleitas
41. Angel D’Fana
42. Arnoldo Valenciaga Fundora
43. Jesús Polo Montes de Oca
44. Pedro Santana
45. Pastor Fuste Falcón
46. Miguel Fernández Falcón
47. Nicolás González Alemán
48. Enrique Fernández Ruiz de la Torre
49. Manuel García Fernández
50. Justo Amaro Balado
51. Manuel Lorenzo
52. Juan Lugo
53. Nelson Tamayo Calderin
54. Luis Rojas Alonso
55. Jesús Santana
56. Abel Nievas Morales
57. Damaso José Díaz Díaz
58. Felipe Alonso Herrera
59. Procopio Pérez Alonso
60. Gerardo Lazo Pastrana
61. Guillermo García
62. Joaquín Serra Pérez
63. Vicente Salazar
64. Eduardo García Manzanares
65. Luis Salabarría
66. José M. Portela
67. Efraín Calsado
68. Manuel Hernández Cruz
69. Sergio León Figueras
70. Carlos M. Díaz
71. Pedro Fernández Rizo
72. José Ramón Morell
73. Jorge Delgado González
74. Manuel Mosquera Rodríguez
75. Raúl del Valle Vilardell
76. Luis F. Sabatela Pardo
77. Héctor González Martínez
78. Alejandro Moreno Maya
79. José Marcino Valdés
80. José Bares Grana
81. Domingo Abreu
82. Luis González
83. Sergio Llop Puig
84. Rodolfo Alvarez
85. Luis Cruz
86. José Luis Delgado
87. Miguel E. Marraro Maura
88. Rodolfo Rodríguez San Román
89. Gerardo Rodríguez San Román
90. Febelio Rodríguez San Román
91. Juan García García
92. José M Hernández Miranda
93. Miguel Hernández Miranda
94. Raúl Hernández Miranda
95. Gregorio Hernández Fonticiella
96. Rafael Alzamora
97. Pedro Alzamora
98. Orlando Pedroso Moragas
99. Agustín Robaina
100. Roberto Abreu
101. Rene Rubi
102. Eduardo Zayas Berriel
103. Mario Fajardo Martín
104. Antonio Hernández Miranda
05. Ernesto Palomeque Burriel
106. Luis Delgado Mena
107. Juan Alba Estrada
108. Ramón Méndez Pimentel
109. Emilio Bacallao Fernández
110. Diego Parra Leiva
111. Manuel Jiménez Martínez
112. Claudio R. Morales
113. Celestino Godinez Zequeira
114. Jine Reyes
115. Raúl Cabria Panay
116. Pedro Pérez Valdés
117. Roberto del Toro Frometa
118. Santiago B. Díaz
119. Raúl Arteaga
120. Julio Egues
121. Eulalio Moreno Fuentes
122. Regino Mena Torres
123. Juan Miguel Salabarria Valdés
124. Héctor García Soto
125. Antonio Hernández Padrón
126. Jesús Hernández Padrón
127. Ramín Hernández Padrón
128. Orlando Pérez Oliva
129. Antonio Domínguez Hernández
130. Raúl León J.
131. Julio Cordova de la Torre
132. Ramiro Domínguez
133. Remigio Rodríguez Pérez
134. Manuel Praine Reyes
135. Miguel A. Lucena López
136. Wilfredo Echevarria Alpuin
137. Israel Rodríguez Súarez
138. Julio Alaja Espina
139. Félix Medina Duarte
140. Raúl Morales López
141. Baldomero Pérez Alvarez
142. Ignacio León Dany
143. Miguel Martínez
144. Mariano Guzmán
145. Nemesio Ruiz Pérez
146. Felipe Escalada Montalvo
147. Guillermo Escalada Montalvo
148. Arnaldo Ramos Yaniz
149. Pedro Valladares García
150. Emilio Caravajal Rodríguez
151. Eusebio Velix Costa
152. Máximo Paz Gamboa
153. Fernando Fernández
154. Miguel Mendoza
155. Juan Reyes Morales
156. Marco Tulio Beruff Pérez
157. Pable R. Planas Ojedavo
158. Francisco Tamayo
159. Juan Machin
160. José Roig Rodríguez
161. Evariste Bermúdez
162. Gonzalo Fernández
163. Francisco José Perez Herrera
164. Jesús Silva Pontigo
165. Sergio Montes de Oca
166. Alberto C. Jans Padrón
167. Víctor Miguel Canton Gómez
168. Jesús Rodríguez Mosquera
169. Osvaldo Fernández Izquierdo
170. Alfredo Mustelier Nuevo
171. Rolando (Fernández) Castro (Ferrando)
172. Eugenio Ledon Aguilar
173. Enrique Costa Vázquez
174. Juan Valeés Terán
175. Gustavo Areces
176. José R. González Llerena
177. Ramón Cueto Pérez
178. Miguel A. Alvarez
179. Nicolás Morejón Rodríguez
180. Gabriel González
181. Mario Echavarria Camejo
182. Rigoberto Pérez Roque
183. Reinaldo Blanco Betancourt
184. Gerardo Martínez Pérez
185. Elio Curiel Ortega
186. Ovidio González Carmenate
187. Angel L. Marti Brizuela
188. Israel Galán Garces
189. Federico Rodríguez
190. Carlos Betancourt Rodríguez
191. Eusebio Peñalver Mazorra
192. Heriberto Bacallao Espinosa
193. Armando Yong Martínez
194. Ismael Hernández Luis
195. Eloy R. Rodríguez
196. Santiago Rodríguez Barban
197. Vicente Rodríguez Molina
198. Mateo Rodríguez Rodríguez
199. Leduvino Segura Segura
200. Rene Cruz Cruz
201. Pablo Palmiemi Elie
202. César Mas.
203. Manuel Almaguer Garrido
204. Orlando S. García Plasencia
205. Ramón Grau Alsina
206. Eduardo Capote Rodríguez
207. Pablo Prieto Castillo
208. Eduardo Capote Rodríguez
209. Francisco S. Grau Sierra
210. Reinaldo Regueroa Gálvez
211. Alberto Qadaz Acosta
212. Ignacio Cuesta Valle
213. Elio Leal Sánchez
214. Luis Ruiz
215. Norberto Belaunzaran
216. Daniel Reyes
217. Ivo Guerra
218. Alberto Grau Sierra
219. Mario Chanes
220. Tirso Alvarez
221. Eduardo Carreras Vallina
222. Eleno Oviedo
223. Lázare Quiñones
224. Guido Valiente Briban
225. Humberto Victorado
4. Other documents that form part of the aforementioned case include a list of political prisoners in different places in Cuba who are presumably in the same situation as those of Guanajay. The list is as follows:16
1. José Miguel Exposito Carbonell
2. Enrique García Cuevas
3. Orlando Roberto Morffi
4. Diosdado Camejo
5. Roberto Cardes
6. José Bauro Blanco M.
7. Rolando Borges Paz
8. Marcelo Melgado Cruz
9. Orestes G. Morales González
10. Rene Marcial Matos
11. Roberto Martín-Pérez Rodríguez
12. Félix Lima
13. Fabian Luzardo Díaz
14. Arnoldo Hernández Luego
15. José Antonio Jiménez Caballero
16. Gregorio González González
17. Juan de Dios Alfredo González Ruíz
18. Amado García Vega
19. Conrado Gómez García
20. Roberto del Toro Frometa
21. Juan Vicente Delgado
22. Juan José Luis Colina Alemán
23. Alberto Cruz Cancio
24. Joaquín Chayin González
25. Georgina Cid Crespo
26. J. I. Carreño
27. Mamerto Casana Pérez
28. Enrique Borges Rodríguez
29. Rolando Boue Trueba
30. Pelaxo Lasa Parla
31. Raúl Ledón Pérez
32. Enrique Arias Arias
33. Norberto Belausaran López
34. Matías Alonso Aquino
35. Alberto Alvárez de la Campa B.
36. José Vega García
37. Elier Viamonte Espin
38. Pablo Castellanos Caballero
39. Lutgardo Castellanos Vázquez
40. Huber Matos
41. Domingo Miranda Suárez
42. José Agustín Torres Sirule
43. Rafael Turino Ibáñez
44. Julio Rodríguez Lamelas
45. Roberto Rodríguez Montoro
46. Armando Cubria Ramos
47. Ernesto de la Fé
48. Alfredo Vilas Fajardo
49. José Ignacio Yaniz
50. Ismail Valdes Gueinaga
51. Gregorio Francisco Valdes Paz
52. Hilario Suárez
53. Angel Tojeiro Diaz
54. Carlos Serrer
55. Rene Sotolongo
56. Ofelia Emérita Rodríguez Roche
57. Domingo Sánchez Ortega
58. Damaso Enrique Rodríguez Pons
59. Luis María Rodríguez Requeira
60. Luis Rodríguez Fuentes
61. Mario Rodríguez Quintana
62. Ramón Portal Medel
63. Lino Guillermo Rivero Acosta
64. José Piloto Mora
65. Carlos Pons Wottu
66. Rubén Perez Rios
67. Gabriel Lupo Pichardo González
68. Arístides Pérez Montañés
69. Orlando Pérez Oliva
70. Antonio Pérez Borrego
71. Luis Pérez Dias
72. Pedro Pedraza Portal
73. José Oriol Pedraza Felipe
74. Mario Pacheco
75. César José Páez Sánchez
76. Abel Nieves Morales
77. Newton Rafael Orihuela del Toro
78. Israel Abreu Villareal
79. Reinaldo Aquit Manrique
80. Vidal A. Arocha
81. Pedro M. Baquet
82. Eduardo Cuencio Sobrino
83. Luis de los Santos Naranjo
84. Braulio Echeverría Martínez
85. César F. Ga
86. Federico Rodríguez L.
87. Lázaro Sesti Martínez
88. Zo Su Gónzález
89. Heriberto Trujillo León
90. Amado González Rodríguez
91. José Luis Márquez
92. Carlos Mosquera A.
93. Onirio Nervin
94. Francisco Rosello Melis
95. Fernando Ruiz Arias
96. Mario Salabarría de Aguiar
97. Noel Salas Santos
98. Juan Sosa Hernández
99. Giraldo Cribeiro Ruiz
100. Antonio de Jesús Cruz del Rio
101. Roberto Cue Corron
102. Antonio Cuest
103. Angel D’faua
104. José Prendes Heria
105. Tomás Pedro Regalado Molina
106. Enrique A. Reveredo
107. Roger Reyes Hernández
108. Mario Reyes Molina
109. Alejando Neve Alvarez
110. Alejo A. Oriega Mora
111. Miriam Ortega
112. Celestine Manuel Palomo Copo
113. Angel E. Pardo Mazorra
114. Norma Arreu Guerra
115. Gilberto Aguiar Yero
116. Héctor Albor Barbieri
117. Leonel Almeida Matos
118. María Magdalena Alvarez
119. Ricardo Alvarez Falcón
120. Jorge Jesús Arrastia Juarez
121. Gonzalo Lázaro Bartet González
122. Santiago Bayolo Guerra
123. Apolonio Jorge Luis Santos Bermudez Cambar
124. Belio R. Blanco Soto
125. Julio Antonio Camacho Pérez
126. Eduardo Francisco Capote Rodríguez
127. Juan Florentino Cardenas Rosello
128. Jesús Carrazana Quintero
129. Pedro José Casas Carrillo
130. Carlos Manuel Casanova Lagos
131. Pedro A. Comeron Pérez
132. Ramón B. Conte Hernández
133. Jorge Guzmán Chaple
134. Eduardo de Juan Machado
135. Rafael del Pino Siero
136. Raúl Eduardo del Valle Vilarde
137. Milagros Delgado Gónzales
138. Oscar Fernández Llorente
139. Enrique Fernández Ruiz de la Torre
140. Ramón Norberto Fernández Velazquez
141. Enrique Díaz Correa
142. Juan Fonseca
143. Dora Delgado Soulary
144. Jesús Díaz Casanova
145. Plácido Díaz Millo
146. Segundo de la O Elejalde Cepero
147. Fernándo Fernández García
148. Félix Peña
149. Heliodoro Pérez Lizano
150. Amado Perdomo Herrera
151. Rigoberto Perera López
152. Plácido Edito Pérez Mendoza
153. Juan Rodríguez
154. Remigio Rodríguez Pérez
155. Nelson Rodríguez Pérez
156. Eugenio Raúl Rodríguez Pozo
157. Araceli Rodríguez San Román
158. Orlando Pérez Pérez
159. Reinaldo Pérez Rodríguez
160. Rogelio Pineda Reyes
161. Jesús Polo Montes de Oca
162. Saturnino Polon Pinero
163. Estrella Caridad Riesgo Hernández
164. Pedro F. Rivero Moreno
165. Patricio Rodríguez
166. Oscar Rodriguez Terrero
167. Amado Jesús Rodríguez Fernández
168. Angel Rosendo Rodríguez Román
169. Luis Rojas Pérez
170. Roberto Rojas Venereo
171. Dagoberto Romero Figueredo
172. Manuel Eugenio Romeu Fernández
173. Miguel Toledo Barrial
174. José A. Valdés Terán
175. Laureano Valdés Gallardo
176. Juan A. Valdés Terán
177. José Enrique Vázquez Rosales
178. Manuel Saras Nicolaides
179. José Soto
180. Alejandrina Sánchez Vda. De Márquez
181. Domingo P. Suárez Espinosa
182. José Luis Teresa Alvarez
183. Pedro Roberto Vera Ortiz
184. Ramón Olegario Vivas Fernández Coca
185. Leandro Alberto Wals Ríos
186. Vicente Osvaldo Zubero Valdivia
187. Joaquín Félix Freire Cruz
188. Lázaro Frile Vichot
189. Gilberto Edigdio Fundora Alcázar
190. Juan Ferrer Ordóñez
191. Jesús Garabote Fernández
192. Cristóbal Manuel García
193. Juan Garcia García
194. Eduardo García Manzanares
195. Julio García Serrano
196. Julio Antonio Gómez Madam
197. Vicente Paul González Migoyo
198. Luis González Rojas
199. Luis Gonzáles Marcilio
200. René González Sosa
201. Alberto González Tapanos
202. Pedro Anastasio Gutiérrez Rodríguez
203. Félix Orlando Hernández Pérez
204. Justo Ramón Laucerica Bolano
205. Eduardo Lorenzo Cidre
206. Lawrence Kirby
207. José Marcino Valdez
208. Criselda Martínez
209. José Helidoro Martínez Rodríguez
210. Gilberto Medaro Polven
211. Manuel Alberto Molinero Castillo
212. Luis Ontero Carranza
213. Elias Montoya Segura
214. Daniel R. Morales León
215. Rolando Basilio Moréjón Cuirado
216. Francisco Javier Navarrete Kndelan
217. Pablo Castellanos Caballero
218. Blan Camacho García
219. Reynaldo Cordero M.
220. Juan R. Cruz
221. Orlando Muñez
222. Juana Lydia Corbanell.
5. An attachment to the claim dated April 16, 1974, reads as follows:17
“ … We, the political prisoners of the Prison of Boniato in the province of Oriente, Cuba, have been confined for years without seeing our families, without being allowed even to communicate with them, unable to receive or send letters, shut up worse than wild beasts in cells hermetically sealed with iron sheets. With a hole in a corner as the sole sanitary facility where urine and excrements accumulate, making the little air available so foul as to be almost unbreathable: without sun, without light, in constant semidarkness, almost blind and strictly prohibited from receiving medical assistance of any kind or any medicaments, we are being submitted to the most inhumane and heartless plan of physical annihilation and biological experimentation ever known in the history of the western world. Russian, Czech and Cuban communist doctors direct this Extermination and Experimentation Plan.
“We are weighed in the cells, we are observed, our reactions are evaluated, our metabolism is altered with unknown substances incorporated in the food, to meals consisting exclusively of spaghetti, corn meal, and boiled rice, with a daily total of under 200 calories. Whole months with no salt whatsoever followed by weeks in which the food is so salty that it almost cannot be swallowed. These brusque changes upset our metabolism, raise our blood pressure, cause kidney problems, and the like. Some are monstrously swollen, with the so-called “hunger edemas” produced by malnutrition. We are not men, we are specters, skeletons covered by skin, human scarecrows. We are like those pictures of concentration camps that caused such consternation the world over. If you could see us you also would be filled with consternation; but here no one can take photos; this is a communist prison. Our health is worse each day. Generalized polyneuritis and avitaminosis play havoc among us, we are being killed slowly but inexorably. There are problems with reflexes, with coordination, lack of balance; there are nervous and digestive disorders of all kinds and we are absolutely denied any medical assistance. Our eyelids are inflamed, reddened, our gums bleeding and receding, our teeth loose, dropping out. Lips and mouths cracked, full of sores, bodies full of dark pustules; groins, genitals, feed and neck invaded by fungus, skin scaly, grey … and we are denied all medical assistance. Scurvy is now producing in many of us nose hemorrhages if we merely sneeze. There are here aged men, invalids, heart cases, tuberculosis and asthma cases who have been deprived of their aids and are denied any liquid during their attacks as one more instrument of torture. None of these chronically ill people or indeed anyone has received medical assistance of any kind for over two years. The state of malnutrition and exhaustion, of generalized anemia, keeps many of us in a state of prostration, without strength to stand any longer. We have been beaten in a savage and brutal manager, heads, faces and arms have been broken by sticks and iron bars, systematically, cell by cell.”
In another place in the same claim, the following is denounced:18
“José Luis Prado was imprisoned from January 7, 1961 to January 6, 1970. Count 461-64, condemned by the Revolutionary Tribunal No. 1 of Havana, according to a document issued by Lieut. Agustín B. Alemán Purchena, Director la “La Cabaña” prison.
“(Prado) was in the Isle de Pines prison, in ‘5 and a half’ of Pinar del Río and in La Cabaña, where he was set free on expiry of his sentence. He summarizes his experience thus:
I was placed in solitary confinement twice. Three months in a cold cell in Isle de Pines and 10 months in ‘5 and a half’ in Pina del Río. During the second period I was kept entirely naked because I refused to don the blue uniform of the ‘rehabilitated’ which the guards gave me, because I refused the so-called rehabilitation. On another occasion, from March to December 1967, ten of us were confined in a single six by twelve foot cell. There were only two beds and we had to take turns every two hours to sleep. On one occasion I was kept 72 hours without being able to take a bath or wash in any way.
I was beaten many times. Each time they made a round of inspection they beat us. Once I was beaten because I refused to give the name of a prisoner who had a small radio hidden away. After that time I was sent to solitary confinement for three months. That was the occasion I saw Francisco Navales assassinated, one month before we were removed from the Isle de Pines.
He was murdered, as far as I know for no specific motive. He told me that when they came for him he though he would at last be taken to see his sick mother. But they took him to the cell where I was. That was when he told me he thought he would go to see his mother. He did not know why he had been taken there. After he had been with me one hour a guard entered with a baseball bat and went up to him. Francisco tried to escape from the cell and flee from the guard. He did not know there was another guard behind the door of the cell waiting for him. When he started to run the guard fired a burst at point-blank range. Blood, bits of liver and intestines, were strewn over the floor and walls of the cell.
From the prison ‘5 and a half’, I was transferred to La Cabaña, to a cell black below floor-level, together with another hundred prisoners. The walls of this block are running with water. They are extremely hot in summer and cold in winter. During the winter, they kept us shivering in our underwear, because they did not allow us to put on the khaki uniform of those who had not been ‘rehabilitated.’ They wanted to make us put on the blue uniform again. We went on a hunger strike in protest for 35 days.
A year before that, we went on a hunger strike that lasted 20 days. Carmelo Cuadra died during that hunger strike, without receiving medical assistance.”
7. In the Memorandum dated October 24, 1974, it is stated that:19
“ … At our appearance on April 16, our denunciation report was accompanied by a letter smuggled out of La Cabaña Prison in Havana, in which it was stated that there were growing irregularities in the scant provisions of food (boiled macaroni and boiled cabbage). The writer told of how the prisoners in one block did not eat for one day so that prisoners in another block could have full rations. The are plotting against us in some way, said the letter. They want to make us go on a hunger strike in protest, but we will not, it added.
“On June 24, Commander Medardo Lemus, Head of the Prisons, ordered that the hard-core prisoners, that is, those who refuse to wear the blue uniform of the ‘rehabilitated’ and reject the hard labor involved in the Marxist-Leninist indoctrination and who, as a result, have been kept for years in their underwear in the damp cell blocks of the two-hundred year old military fortress, should put on the blue uniform and join the common prisoners in their meals. When they refused, the already notorious Commander (well-known for achieving his promotions by means of beating after beating and murder after murder) declared the 44 most recalcitrant prisoners to be on a hunger strike, confined them to block 12, and ordered that all medicine, including the breathing apparatus needed for those with asthma, and even aspirin, be taken away from those who were ill.
“The outrage continued until August 12. It was ended, perhaps, because of international pressures brought by the massive protest by the Cuban exile community. With one exception, the hard-core prisoners bore the terrible repressive measures without yielding in their attitudes. It was a heroic struggle between courage and degradation. But all struggles have their casualties. Six of the political prisoners were victims of polyneuritis, resulting from the lack of food, and they remained invalids. They will walk again only if they receive extensive physiotherapy and adequate nutrition. Neither of the two oases is receiving such treatment. The names of the invalid prisoners are: Rolando de Vera Méndez, Oscar Rodríguez Terreno (‘Little Napoleon’), Pedro Gallardo Batista, Fernando Gómez Fonseca, Israel Domínguez Rodríguez and Armando Valladares Pérez.
“Another group of ‘hard-core’ prisoners has been transferred to one of the worst underground blocks in La Cabaña. Their situation is intolerable. Five of them have been bitten by rats.
“After the forced fasting was over, they were visited by a doctor from the Ministry of the Interior, a certain Dr. Valdés, who announced that he is first a foremost a Communist; he told them: ‘From time to time, the Revolution has to beat the bushes so that some Capitalists will crawl out.’
8. In a communication dated July 11, 1974, the following denunciation was made:20
“Since the beginning of June, 44 Cuban political prisoners have been beaten and deprived of all food or medical assistance in cell umber 12 of La Cabaña Prison in Havana. One f their number is the journalist Pablo Castellanos, who is gravely ill. We urgently request the intervention of this organization in order to prevent further deaths in the imprisonment of political prisoners in Cuba.”
The Commission, in a cablegram dated July 12, 1974, requested the Government of Cuba to provide the relevant information, and submitted to it the pertinent parts of the denunciation, in accordance with Articles 42 and 44 of the Regulations. This request for information was repeated on August 9 of the same year, and the urgent and grave nature of the complaint was stressed. Again, in a note dated December 17, 1974, the Commission insisted that the Government of Cuba send the data necessary to an examination of the denunciation, and reminded the Cuban Government of the time-limit imposed by Article 51 of the Regulations and of the regulation which presumes that the truth of the case is presumed confirmed if the information is not provided within this time-limit.
The processing of the case having been completed, the Commission, in view of the failure of the Government of Cuba to respond, adopted a resolution on this case at its thirty-fifth meeting (May 1975) (OEA/Ser.L/V/II.35 doc.5, May 29, 1975).
The resolution set out the situation of the 44 political prisoners who were the subjects of the denunciation, and noted that, given the urgency of the case, the Government of Cuba had been requested to provide the relevant information in a cable dated July 12, 1974; that the request had been repeated on the following August 9, and that these measures were based on Article 9 of its Statute; it also observed to that as of the date of the thirty-fourth meeting (October 1974), the aforementioned government had still not replied to the request, even though the time-limit of 180 days established in the Regulations had expired.
The Commission also notes that no practical purpose will be served by making recommendations to the present Government of Cuba, as envisaged in Articles 9, paragraph b. and 9 (bis), paragraph b., given that government’s systematic failure to respond to the requests made to it for information, but that this would not prevent the presentation to the General Assembly of a proper assessment of the facts of the denunciation.
The operative part of the resolution applies Article 51 cited above, taking as proven the facts of the case; it was decided to include the resolution in the annual report to the Assembly, and stating that the facts of the denunciation constitute a grave and repeated case of a violation of the right to a fair trial and the right to protection from arbitrary arrest as defined in Articles XVIII and XXV of the American Declaration.21
This resolution was transmitted to the Government of Cuba with a note dated April 12, 1974, the following denunciation is made:22
(text unreadable) … undressed in order that their bodies may be searched before receiving one of the view visits allowed in some prisons (in others, such as Boniato, there are no visits whatever) has left its mark of ignominy on the Political Prison System in Cuba. The refusal of the prisoners to allow themselves to be searched has resulted in brutal beatings. But let one of these very prisoners, who is still serving a sentence in the Guanajay Prison in the Province of Havana, tell it himself:
(text unreadable) … turn my monthly visit, but the head of the prison told me that day that in order to go out to our visit, we would have to undress completely (before that, we were in our underwear), and nearly all of us in the jail, about 65 per cent, refused. They–the Communists–very cleverly took a group of only three to the visiting room, whereas always before, it had been everyone together. Once they were there, they found about 30 guards to carry out the inspection (before, with everybody, there had been only 4). Our companions refused to take off their underwear. Then the guards were on top of them, trying to take off their underwear by force. In spite of their struggles, the prisoners had their underwear taken off, and were brutally beaten.
This happened to about 20 more companions, and whoever refused to take off his underwear suffered the same fate–that is, he was beaten. Naturally, we missed our visit. The family waiting outside heard the noise we were making, since while this was going on in the visiting room, we were shouting and beating the cell bars in protest. Until then, I had not been touched, they left me for last. The Communists realized that they would have to do this with everybody, and the whole thing stopped for a while.
At 8 p.m., about 300 guards came into the yard, armed with guns and tear-gas launchers. At their head was the notorious assassin Lemus These guards threw a cordon around buildings D and C. Then, they began to take the inmates out of buildings D and E. About 180 companions were there. They took them out three by three, they made them take off their underwear. If you refused, they beat you until you were exhausted, bleeding, and naked. From there, they took you out to the dungeons. The same thing happened with all the inmates of the two buildings.
This went on until 10:30 a.m. on the 21st. At that time, they stopped for a while because they had no place to put the inmates. Then they brought 6 cages and took everyone away, some to La Cabaña and the most seriously hurt to El Principe. They kept the wounded for three days without medical assistance. Already by that time, there were about 18 seriously injured, and 48 slightly injured.
With us, in building C, they changed their tactics. They took us out in threes from the cells, and took us to a room between the two corridors. There, they beat us. There were about 40 guards, including a few judokas from the Minit (Ministry of the Interior). They beat us with clubs, steel bars, chains, and kicked us, etc. etc. This all ended at 11 p.m. By that time, there were about 27 gravely injured and about 62 slightly injured. The dangerously injured were: Alfredo Mustelier, facture of the skill; Miguel Cantón, 4 broken ribs; César Nicolardes, fractures on both sides of the left arms, and two cracked ribs; Ramón Cueto Pérez (Monín), facial disfigurations and some bruised ribs; Osvaldo Fernández Izquierdo (Nicaragua), a fractured foot and blows to the head; Gustavo Arnes, two fractured ribs and a wound on an eyebrow; Antonio Berto Soto (Cuatro Caminos), fractured ribs and black eyes; Juan José Reboredo, still unknown–he’s under observation with a blow on the head and blood running down his neck, he has his eyes closed and passes out frequently; Jesús Rodríguez Mosquera, a dislocated left elbow, three cracked ribs, black eyes and bruises over the rest of his body; and so on to all 27.”
C. Right to Due Process of law 23
1. One of the supplementary documents to a complaint dated march 24, 1974 consists of a partial listing of Cuban political prisoners, specifying their sentences, the facts which were used as the basis of each proceeding and the true reasons the plaintiffs believe were behind such sentences.24
2. The following charge is contained in an attachment to a complaint dated April 16, 1974:25
When a prisoner finishes serving the term to which he is sentenced, in keeping with the laws, he should be released. This is what happens everywhere but in Cuba. There, if the prisoner has not accepted Communist indoctrination and given up his political and religious convictions, his sentence is arbitrarily extended one or two more years, and this extension is repeated as long as the prisoner refuses to renounce his principles or surrender his basic rights.
This turns a 9, 10, or 12-year sentence into life even though no punishable crime has been committed, no recourse to appeal was available, nor any legal proceeding conducted involving minimum guarantees for the accused.
In order to set forth this case, we cite another political prisoner who relates the outrage in a letter, like all the others, taken out clandestinely:
“ … Here you have the brothers who’ve completed their sentences being submitted to new proceedings in violation of the most fundamental laws. Three thugs holding court behind closed doors in a farce of a trial. Here’s a list of the latest comrades sentenced after they had served their ten years: Reynaldo Cordero Izquierdo, Pedro Baquet, Vidal Arocha Cubillas, and Amado González Hesta, Bolo Capote, from the Guanajay Prison; Evaristo Sardiñas Cruz, Baudilio Exheverría Yánez, Alfonso Loo Sú, Luis de los Santos Naranjo, at the dreaded San Severino Castle; Carlos Más Guerra, Juan Cruz González, Reynaldo Aquit, Eduardo Cuencio, Blas Camacho, César Ja, José Luis Márquez, Nerin Sánchez, Heriberto Trujillo Montes, at the Las Villas Prison.
“The sentence copied below, which extends the terms of imprisonment of one of these political prisoners, is the height of arbitrariness and illegality
“To the Revolutionary Court of the District of Las Villas.
“The Prosecutor states: That in keeping with the provisions of Article 70 of the Procedural Law of the Republic of Cuba in Arms, he presents case No. 3 to the Special Jurisdiction of this Revolutionary Court, and formulates the following conclusions:
“First: That the prisoner Edward Cuencio Sobrino, who was sentenced in case 21/62 of the Revolutionary Court of Las Villas to ten years loss of liberty for a crime against the Powers of the State, during which time he has maintained a reactionary attitude with respect to the revolutionary process, especially the Progressive Regime (N.B., this “Progressive Regime” refers to the prisoner’s submittal to Marxist-Leninist indoctrination), the following being the instances when the prisoner’s attitude was poor: on July 28, 1967, he refused to put on the regulation blue uniform and sent nude until August 5, 1967 when he agreed to wear the yellow uniform; on September 30, 1968 he began a 30-day hunger strike at the La Cabaña Prison; on April 8, 1970, he was punished for breaking penitentiary regulations; on October 1, 1971 he was again punished for violating penitentiary procedures; on November 28, 1970 he was placed with a group of 18 prisoners who were on a sit-down strike in the disciplinary cell, joined with them and remained in that cell until March 18, 1971; on March 28, 1971, he was sent back to the Minint’s Center No 4 and when he and the others were ordered out of the prison care they refused and had to be removed forcibly, and organized a disturbance that spread to the rest of the prisoners; and, finally, on December 15, 1971, questions involving work were discussed with the prisoner and as a result he said:
“That he considers himself a political prisoner and as such does not have to work’; this has been his attitude since he has been in prison. In accordance with the foregoing, said prisoner is considered highly dangerous which makes it necessary to apply post-criminal danger measures.
“Second: That the facts mentioned above involve a state of post-criminal danger, as provided for in Articles 585-C.1 and 586.D of the Social Defense Code.
“Third: The aforementioned prisoner Cuencio Sobrino is responsible for charges that he is dangerous.
“Fourth: There are no circumstances to extenuate his criminal responsibility.
“Fifth: The security measure to be imposed on the prisoner in question is – ASSIGNMENT TO A WORK BRIGADE – for a period of not less than one year under the control and regulation of the pertinent penitentiary.
“FURTHERMORE: Evidence this State Prosecutor is attempting to obtain is:
a. a confession from the accused if he would cooperate in providing it.
b. testimony of Lt. Abraham Claro Cruz, Director, Center No 4, MININT, Las Villas
The Prosecutor. Santa Clara, January 6, 1972. ‘Year of Socialist Emulation’”
3. In another part of the same document there is the following statement:26
Briefly, the Government of Fidel Castro put into force and action so-called “revolutionary justice,” which consists of relentless persecution, the encouragement and intensification of hatred in the community, and terror. At first, this was applied to members of the deposed government, their families and persons more or less associated with them. A little later, revolutionary justice reached out to anyone who differed with the government’s measures and its political, economic or social tendencies.
“Thus while the volleys of the firing squads were thundering across the island, the usual practice was going on, then and later. Arbitrary persecution, illegal detention, suspension of habeas corpus, violation of universally recognized juridical principles, such as the right to be arraigned, to appoint a lawyer who is free to act in his client’s defense, the holding of an impartial trial by competent courts, the non-retroactive nature of penal laws to the detriment of the criminal and the hallowed nature of the law.”
4. An attachment to the statement dated October 24, 1974, contains the following:27
“The status of human rights in Cuba continues to be very serious. Since April 16, 1974, when we had the honor or appearing before the Commission, the situation has deteriorated with the continuation of a repeated pattern of violations of human rights characterized by inhuman crimes, ideological genocide, and institutionalized terror.
“Thus, we can state that the system of arbitrary detentions continues, with indefinite confinement of the accused in G-2’s jails and dungeons and with no sign of trial or compliance with the most elemental requirements of juridical, legal proceedings. Not in the arraignment, the holding of trials, the exercise of the right to a defense represented by a lawyer, nor the possibility of recourse to appeal before competent courts.
“It is also painful for us to report to and denounce before the Commission the fact that the same abominable conditions mentioned in our previous denunciation have continued and become worse with regard to prison operation for political prisoners. To summarize, they lack adequate food and medical care; denial of permission for the prisoners to receive visits from members of their family, mail or medicine; arbitrary re-sentencing of prisoners who have completed the sentences they were serving; physical and mental torture; solitary confinement; brutal beatings, and subjection to harassment and humiliating measures such as nudity.”
5. Another part of the same communication says:28
(“Arbitrary re-imposition of sentences”)
“To the names supplied in our previous denunciation, we now add the following:
“Roberto Cardés Valdés, 36, employee, sentenced to 9 years in case 501 of 1963, completed July 25, 1972. Sentenced to one year of hard labor, by trial.
When a year had passed and he had not worked, he was sentenced to another year, without trial.
“Pablo Arenal Piñón, 33, student, sentenced to 12 years in Case 294, of 1961, completed on April 16, 1973. He was sentenced to one year of hard labor.
“Angel Luis Bice, 43, carpenter, sentenced to 9 years in Case 702, of 1963, completed November 14, 1972. He was sentenced to two years of hard labor.
“Julio Rodríguez Lamelas, 54, salesman of medical supplies. He was sentenced to 6 years in Case 569, of 1965, which were completed November 29, 1971. He was sentenced to two years of hard labor, by trial. When two years had gone by and he had not served this sentence he was sentenced to two more years, without trial. He has suffered two heart attacks and suffers from chronic hypertension.
“Pablo Castellanos Caballero, 50, journalist, former director of the Radio Morón New report. He was sentenced to 12 years in Case 105, of 1962, which were completed October 30, 1973. He was sentenced to one year of hard labor. He has had one heart attack, suffers from chronic hypertension. He has an ulcer and suffers from bursitis and asthma.
“All the above-mentioned prisoners are in cell 12 of La Cabaña prison. For over 7 years the only clothes they have been wearing are their underwear.
“Segundo de la O Elejaldo Cepero, 32, construction worker, sentenced to 10 years in Case 325, of 1963. The term was completed on May 18, 1973. He was sentenced to another year on April 11, 1973.
“Manuel Hernández Gómez, 33. He completed a ten-year sentence in 1973 and was sentenced again to two years for not doing hard labor. Before he was in prison he worked at Central San Antonio, in the Municipality of Madruga.
“Eddy Carrera Vallina, 38, university student (5th year Business School), was sentenced to 12 years in Case 301, of 1961. This sentence was completed April 16, 1973. On March 19, 1973, he was sentenced again to two years because he refused to work while in prison.
“Federico Rodríguez Avila, 44, merchant, sentenced to 9 years in Case 356 of 1963. The term was completed on May 2, 1972. He was sentenced to another two years on April 28, 1972.
6. A communication dated November 8, 1974, denounces the following:29
“Herbert Mates Benítez has been imprisoned in Cuba October, 1959. He was arrested and sent to prison only because he resigned his post of Commander in the Rebel Army. He was charged with being a traitor because ideologically he disagreed with the leaders in power in Cuba and was sentenced to twenty years in prison without any evidence against him.
“During the 15 years of his unfair imprisonment he has been the victim of incalculable ill-treatment and abuse. On several occasions he has kept incommunicado for periods of over a year in the cells of La Cabaña jail. He has been physically maltreated for complaining against the ill-treatment given by the prison wardens and once in 1971 he suffered two broken ribs. For fifteen years he has been denied medical assistance, although he needed it. More than once he has been left lying on the floor, writhing in pain owing to a nephritic colic, without receiving any assistance at all. He was kept naked in his cell almost two years because he refused to participate in an indoctrination program, called rehabilitation, in which prisoners wear a special uniform, attend Marxism lessons and participate in activities in favor of the Government.
“He has been incommunicado for over four years. His father, who is almost ninety years old, has spent days at the prison gates and has not been allowed to see his son. The prison authorities have cruelly told him that “that prisoner does not want any visitors.” In September 1973, he was not allowed to go to his mother’s funeral.
“In view of the arbitrary forced incommunication imposed on my husband the last four years, I am afraid that he is being subject to even more inhumane treatment. I am also afraid that he will be subject to a new trial.”
7. A letter written by a political prisoner in Cuba dated August 30, 1971, states that:
“I am in the same situation. Since February 23, 1970, I have had no visitors, that is, I have been incommunicado for a year and a half, although officially I am neither incommunicado nor punished. To deprive me of the visits from my relatives, the prison authorities claim that I do not comply with the prevailing regulations, regulations that they manage arbitrarily in order to degrade political prisoners. So visits are not officially suspended, but I am deprived of them through the imposition of humiliating conditions and if I now accept to go around naked, tomorrow they want me t crawl on all fours to have a right to receive visitors. I have also been a year and a half without writing letters or sending telegrams. As for the letters that my family sends me, they are rarely given to me. The last one I got is dated January 31 of this year. So without visitors and practically without any mail, I am absolutely incommunicado. To this one should add that I am completely isolated from the rest of the prisoners. The bars of my cell covered or sealed with a bag sewn to them. Most of the time the food is inedible; there’s lack of water almost daily. As far as I’m concerned, I cannot count on medical assistance. That is my situation as a Cuban political prisoner. I have been mistreated rather than imprisoned for twelve years. It seems I shall have to serve the remaining eight years of my sentence in this arbitrary and inhuman situation.”
8. Another paragraph of a communication dated October 24, 1974, states that:31
“The Castro government is bringing another suit, Case 205, whereby former Commanders of the Rebel Army Eloy Gutiérrez Menoyo, Huber Matos and César Páez, as well as ex-Captain Tony Lamas, are accused of plotting a seditious coup in Cuba while in jail.
“We already knew that the said political prisoners were being taken to the offices of the Security Department (G-2) to be interrogated according to the physical and mental torture system that the regime normally applies in these cases. As first results of the initiation of this Case other former political prisoners have already been sentenced, among them Pedro Ortiz Anaya, to 8 years; Alberto Cruz Azcuy, to 9 years; ex-convict Flora Wols, to 5 years; ex-convict Silvino Rodríguez Barrientes, former Lieutenant in the Rebel Army, to 9 years, in spite of the fact that he is serving a sentence of 12 years. Other prisoners that have served over 10 years have other trials pending for this reason. People who have no connection with this jail, such as Narciso Alvarez Quintana and Paulino Villaverde Alvarez have been sentenced to 6 and 4 years, respectively.
“In view of the total lack of communication these political prisoners have been and are being subjected to, without either visitors or mail, it is absurd to think that they might be organizing mutinous groups in jail. Therefore, the reason for this investigation and for the initiation of a new trial cannot be other than that of preventing these former military men and revolutionary leaders from benefiting from some type of negotiation leading to their release from jail. To prevent it they try to classify them as extremely dangerous men who have to be kept in prison during their lifetime or else physically eliminated.
9. A document attached to a complaint submitted January 7, 1975, states that:32
“In the present Cuban prison system there is complete lack of presumption of innocence, of the right to receive information regarding the penalty, the right to legal assistance and to interrogate witnesses, legal definitions of crimes and penalties, appeal, consistent criminal provisions, the right to be heard by a tribunal under due process of law. In the Cuban jail system there prevail retroactivity in criminal matters, the absence of provisions and guarantees in case of arrest, incrimination and interrogation.
Preventive arrest, duties of the defense, public trial, the sacredness of the res judicata, principle, bail, exceptions, civil justices and the scope of individual rights and respect for human rights, are unknown things.
“Although Cuba is a signatory of the Geneva Humanitary Conventions (four treaties) it does not apply them, and it also ignores the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Agreements (three) and its optional Protocol relating to the applicability of Human Rights Mission established therein. As for the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties o Man, it is dead letter for the Cuban government.
D. Right to residence and movement 33
Through denunciations submitted to the Commission it has become known that the government of Cuba:
a. Has applied coercive measures against Cuban citizens who wish to leave the country temporarily or definitely, depriving them of the means of work, the possibility of buying food and other essentials for their life and that of their families; depriving them of means of work, the possibility of buying food and other essentials for their life and that of their families;
b. Obliges such persons to carry out forced labor while they wait for their exit permit, the granting of which takes months and even years;
c. Prevents or delays for long periods the departure of foreign citizens residing in that country, particularly of United States citizens who wish to return to their country.
There follow the pertinent parts of the denunciations and a summary of the action taken:
1. A communication of March 3, 1971, dencounces:34
“Another violation of the human rights is the treatment given to Cuban Citizens who have requested authorization to leave the country in the Freedom Flights.
“From the time that a person called by relatives residing in the United States requests departure authorization he is viewed by the communist régime as a political outcast, and subjected to measures that range from depriving him of his job to sending him to labor camps.
“Those labor camps, known under the name of Agricultura, are the worst possible affront to a citizen who has to even been accused by the communist régime of any crime whatsoever against the Red state. There, both men and women, the young and the old, white and colored, nationals and foreigners, have to perform the hardest rural tasks, without any implements or the proper knowledge; without adequate food, almost without clothing, without their family knowing where they are and without the least possibility of medical care and even less of compensation for their work. Do not such facts violate human rights? The sufferings of the Cubans sent to the Agricultura would make a long and sorrowful tale.”
2. In a communication of April 28, 1972, the following facts were denounced:35
“My brother Alberto Castillo, my nephew Arturo Castillo, his wife and four children were among the first group who applied for repatriation as recorded in the Swiss Embassy in Havana. Furthermore, my nephew completed the necessary requirements and arrangements to send his eldest son without delay to the states by way of Spain about six years ago. The funds covering all expenses were sent to Cuba, and that was the end of our transactions. We never heard what happened to the ‘cheque.’
“Alberto Castillo (my brother) born in Key West, Florida (0ver 70 years of age) always lived in the United States where was educated. He attended school in Key West, Atlanta, and Montreal, Canada. Traveled to Cuba for pleasure.
“Arturo Castilo (my nephew) son of my brother Arturo Castillo, M.D. (also American born). This nephew happened to be born in Cuba but legally adopted his father’s American citizenship. His four children were born in Cuba but since they are too young no legal action has been taken to legalize their American citizenship.
“The reason given by the government of Cuba in not permitting them to leave Cuba:
“They frequently visit the Swiss Embassy in Havana to enquire when they are scheduled to leave and the only reply received is that the Cuban government has not yet authorized their departure.”
The Commission requested the Government of Cuba to provide the corresponding information by note of November 1, 1972, which reads as follows:
REF: Case 1742
We have the honor of addressing Your Excellency in connection with a communication regarding human rights in your country.
The Commission has been advised that United States citizens or nationals, some of them elderly, have been prevented from going to their country of origin, where their relatives are living, and that all action taken by them through the Swiss Embassy to obtain the necessary travel permit appears to be constantly hindered by the Cuban authorities.
Should the facts denounced to the Commission be true, they would constitute a violation of Articles VIII and XIII of the American and the Universal Declaration on the Rights of Man.
Consequently, in its twenty-ninth session, held in this city on October 16 through 27, the Commission resolved to request the Government of Cuba to supply information regarding the above facts.
In compliance with that resolution we request your Government to furnish the information it may deem pertinent for the cognizance of the Commission.
Accept, Excellency, the renewed assurance of our highest consideration
Justino Jiménez de Aréchaga
To His Excellency Dr. Raúl Roa
Minister of Foreign Affairs
The Government of Cuba did not reply to the request for information sent on November 1, 1972.
Taking into account that the Government of the Swiss Confederation represents the interests of the United States Government before the Cuban Government, the Commission addressed itself to the Swiss Government, by note of November 14, 1972, requesting it to inform the Commission, by note of November 14, 1972, requesting it to inform the Commission, to the extent possible and insofar as compatible with its interests, if it was true that action taken by many United States citizens, through the Swiss Embassy in Havana to obtain the authorization to travel to their country of origin (United States) was delayed unduly.
By note of December 1, 1972, the Swiss Government replied to that request saying that “by reason of the juridical nature of the agent’s mandate, it does not behoove the latter to express before other States or international organizations, opinions regarding any attitude adopted by the Government of the state before which it exercises its protection. “Consequently, in the opinion of the Swiss Government only the Government of the United States of America could receive a request for information on this subject from the IACHR.”
As a result, by note of June 15, 1973, the Commission requested the United States Government to provide the corresponding information.
The Government of the United States, by note of December 13, 1973, replies to the request of the Commission. The pertinent part of its reply reads as follows:
“Beginning in 1968 the Cuban Government permitted United States citizens to leave Cuba on monthly flights to Brownsville, Texas via Matamoros, Mexico. These flights were terminated by the Cuban authorities on July 31, 1970. The U.S. Department of State, through the Swiss Embassy, has made repeated attempts since then to ascertain the Cuban Government’s intentions toward continuation of the repatriation flights, however, the Cuban Government has not responded formally to these inquiries. It must be stressed that the only obstacle to the repatriation of United States citizens in Cuba is the refusal of the Cuban authorities to permit their departure.
“Arturo Castillo Escarzaga, who appears to be Alberto’s brother, departed Cuba in December 1966 together with his wife. Other members of that family nucleus registered at the Swiss Embassy in Havana are Arturo Pablo Castillo Vazquez, his wife, and four children. The Department’s files of American citizens requesting repatriation to the U.S. from Cuba do not reveal the name of Alberto Castillo.
“The files do not indicate that in October 1969 the Department asked the Swiss Embassy to ascertain why Arturo P. Castillo had not left Cuba as he was scheduled to do during that year. The Swiss replied that Mr. Castillo could not explain his failure to leave. He was therefore advised to contact Cuban Emigration officials. A monthly subsistence allowance from the United States Government, extended routinely to American citizens awaiting repatriation on the Brownsville flights, was suspended in Mr. Castillo’s case in December 1969. In 1970 the Swiss Embassy advised that Department that Mr. Castillo had renounced his Cuban citizenship, which, according to Cuban law he had acquired by birth in Cuba.
“The Swiss Government has advised the Department on similar cases that dual nationals (Cuban and U.S.) must first renounce their Cuban citizenship in order to apply for permission to depart as aliens. Unfortunately, such applications do not receive expeditious consideration by the Cuban Government, and the Department cannot be very encouraging about Mr. Castillo’s repatriation in the near future.
“As soon as any developments occur in regard to Mr. Castillo’s request to be repatriated to the United States, the Swiss Embassy will promptly advise the Department so that his travel may be facilitated. Mr. Castillo’s relatives in this country will likewise be informed.”
In light of the reports supplied by the Government of the United States, the Commission sent to the Government of Cuba a note dated December 16, 1973, requesting the appropriate information concerning the situation of United States citizens who wish to leave Cuba, in order that the Commission might examine such cases and decide on their merit.
After the period provided under Article 51 of the Regulations and in view of the lack of response from the Government of Cuba, the Commission, in its thirty-fifth session ((May 1975), approved a resolution on this case. (OEA/Ser.L/V/II.35, doc.7 rev. 1 of May 29, 1975).
This resolution sets forth the situation of many foreign citizens in Cuba whose departure is being prevented or delayed. It likewise points out that on two occasions (November 1, 1972 and December 17, 1974) the Cuban authorities were requested to supply the appropriate information concerning the alleged acts. The Commission cites Article 51 of its Regulations as being applicable; under this article the alleged acts are considered proven if the government in question has not supplied the information within a period of 180 days.
The Committee also takes into account the systematic silence maintained by the present Government of Cuba, and sees no practical value in making any of the recommendations contemplated under Articles 9.b and 9 (bis) of the Statute of the Cuban Government.
The operative part of the resolution, applying the aforesaid Article 51, considers the allegations proven, and agrees to include the resolution in the annual report of the Committee to the General Assembly, proclaiming that the facts being considered in this case are a serious and reiterated case of violations of the rights to a fair trial and to protection from arbitrary arrest, established in Articles XVIII and XXV of the American Declaration.36
1. Article I of the American Declaration on the Rights and Duties of Man (Bogotá, 1948). The same right is consecrated by Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (United Nations, 1948).
The Cuban Constitution of 7 February 1959 (Official Gazette of the same date) lays down:
Article 25. There shall be no death penalty. Exceptions shall be made in the case of members of the armed forces, forces of repression organized by the dictatorship and of their auxiliary bodies, of armed groups privately organized to defend it and their helpers, for crimes committed in defense or for the reestablishment of the dictatorship that was overthrown on December 31, 1958.
Exceptions shall also be made in the case of persons guilty of treason or subversion of the institutional order or of espionage in aid of the enemy in times of war with a foreign country.”
2. Case 1604, in the files of the Commission. This case was originally denounced to the Commission on 8 November, 1968 and is mentioned in the Second Report on the Situation of Political Prisoners and their Relatives in Cuba (doc. 6-23 rev.1 p.16), in the chapter on the Right to Protection from Arbitrary Arrest.
3. OEA/Ser.P/AG/doc.409/74. Fourth Annual Meeting, pages 75-78. For complete text of the resolution, see Appendix II.
4. Case 1726, in the Files of the Commission.
5. OEA/Ser.O/AG/doc.409/74 supra. For complete text of the resolution, see Appendix III.
6. Case 1805, in the files of the Commission.
7. See Appendix IV for complete text of this resolution.
8. Case 1805, in the Commission files.
9. Case 1834, in the Commission Files.
10. See the complete text of this resolution in Appendix V.
11. Article XVIII and XXV of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man. Similar rights are set forth in Articles 6, 9, and 10 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Articles 26, 27, and 28 of the Basic Law of Cuba, mentioned earlier, guarantees the right to a affair trial and protection against arrest.
Article 26. The Penal Procedures Law shall establish guarantees that every crime is to be proved independently of the testimony of the accused, his spouse and his relatives four times removed if blood relations and twice if by marriage. Anyone accused of a crime shall be considered innocent until convicted.
In all cases the authorities and their agents shall make a written record of the arrest which the person detained shall sign, and he shall be informed of the authority ordering his arrest, the reason for his arrest, and the place he will be taken to; all this information shall be contained in the document covering the arrest. The records of persons under detention and prisoners are public documents.
Any act committed against the personal integrity, security and honor of a person under detention shall be chargeable to those who apprehended him or his guards, unless proven to the contrary. A subordinate may refuse to comply with any orders which violate this guarantee. Any guard using a weapon against a person under detention or a prisoner attempting to escape shall necessarily be held to blame and responsible under law for any crime committed.
Political or social detainees or prisoners shall be housed separately from common criminals and shall not be required to work nor be subject to the penal regulations applicable to common prisoners. No detainee or prisoner shall be held incommunicado.
Violations of this type, no matter what the place, circumstances or persons taking part in the detention, may only be tried in regular courts.
Article 27. Any person arrested shall be released or turned over to competent judicial authorities within twenty-four hours of his arrest.
Any detention may be suspended or increased to imprisonment by a justified court order issued within seventy-two hours of the time the person detained was brought before the competent judge. The interested party shall be notified of such court order within the same period.
Persons under preventive arrest shall be kept in places that are different and completely separate from those housing prisoners serving sentence, and may not be compelled to perform any work nor to comply with penal regulations covering those serving sentence.
Article 28. No one shall be tried or judged except by a competent judge or court, under laws in effect prior to the crime, and with all the procedures and guarantees established by those laws. No sentence shall be passed on a defendant for contempt of court, nor shall he be convicted for such reason.
12. Case 1710 of the Commission files. This communication was not transmitted to the Cuban Government with a request for information because of its general nature. The Commission decided to keep it in mind for examination, and the claimant was so notified.
13. Case 1721, in the Archives of the Commission.
14. OEA/Ser.P/AG/doc.409/74, above. See the complete text of the resolution in Appendix VI.
15. Case 1805, above. Regarding the processing of this case, see Chapter I, A, No. 3 of this report.
16. Case 1808 cited. With regard to the proceedings, see Chapter
I, A, No. 4 of this report.
17. Case 1805 cited.
18. Case 1805 cited. With regard to the proceeding, see Chapter I,A, No. 4 of this report.
19. Case 1834 cited.
20. Case 1847 in the Archives of the Commission.
21. See the complete text of this resolution in Appendix VII.
22. Case 1805 cited.
23. Article XXVI of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man. A similar right is stated in Article 11 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Articles 26, 27 and 28 of Fundamental Law of Cuba, which were mentioned earlier, also establish the formalities and guarantees of due process.
24. See Appendix I.
25. Case 1805, mentioned earlier.
26. Case 1834, mentioned above.
27. Case 1834, mentioned above.
28. Case 1834, already quoted.
29. Case 1887, Commission Files.
31. Case 1834, cited above.
32. Case 1901, Commission files.
33. Article VIII of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man. An analogous right is established in Article 13 (2) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The Cuban Constitution also establishes that right in Article 30, which reads:
“Any person may enter and remain in the national territory, leave it, move from one place to another and change his place of residence without need of an identity cared, passport, or any other similar requisite, excepting those established in immigration laws and by the authorities in cases of criminal liability.”
“No one shall be forced to change his domicile or place of residence, except by court order in the cases and circumstances established by law.”
“No Cuban may be expatriated or denied entrance into the territory of the Republic.”
34. Case 1710, in the files of the Commission.
35. Case 1742, in the files of the Commission.
36. The full text of this resolution appears in Appendix VIII.