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    The United Nations Human Rights Council and its Great Challenge With Cuba

    The United Nations Human Rights Council and its Great Challenge With
    Cuba / Angel Santiesteban
    Posted on May 5, 2013

    Tomorrow, May 1, the United Nations Human Rights Council will meet in
    Geneva, where Cuba will present a report with notes on its prison policy.

    “Dressing up” for the occasion, for the first time in nine years the
    Castro regime opened its jails to the national and international press
    accredited in Cuba. It is public knowledge that the infamous stance
    adopted by these visitors facing the reality of the Cuban prison system.

    In a previous statement we urged journalists to reconsider and not
    continue to be complicit in the crimes committed in the Castro
    concentration camps. But silence prevailed as expected.

    Those who were not silent were the prisoners who by different means told
    the world the cruel reality that the dictatorship makes happen. All
    their complaints are on the Internet. Here we provide a link where you
    can listen to two testimonies of the many who have appeared just in the
    last few days.

    Angel Santiesteban-Prats wrote an open letter to the Human Rights
    Council which urges them to know and appreciate the real testimonies of
    those who suffer violations of their most basic rights, countless
    humiliations and deprivation in these prisons. The letter has been
    widely reported by the international media and numerous blogs over
    several days.

    On the strength of his claim, we publish the letter again, this time in
    English, as submitted to the Council.

    We believe it is most opportune to recall the list of political
    prisoners who populate the concentration camps and who both the Castro
    regime, and its allies in the world, refuse to admit the existence of.

    We hope that neither Angel Santiesteban’s Letter nor the list of
    political prisoners are ignored tomorrow at the meeting of the Council,
    and that its members show the world that they are fulfilling their
    mission to ensure the defense of Human Rights without distinction.

    For all Cuban prisoners we ask for justice and respect for their rights.
    And for the political prisoners in particular, justice, respect for
    their rights and freedom.

    Finally we urge everyone to work together tirelessly disseminating the
    list of political prisoners — sadly always provisional — so that their
    names are not forgotten and the world’s eyes are finally opened to the
    terrible reality that Cubans have been suffering for 54 years.

    Thank you for your attention,

    The Editorial Team

    Open Letter to the United Nations Human Rights Council

    Honourable Sirs,

    I turn to you from the deep despair produced by my imprisonment for
    reasons of consciousness in one of the Castro brothers’ horrific
    prisons. In your hand is the opportunity to stop the agony for so many
    inmates who survive the cruelest famines and tortures, both physical and

    In order to hide the truth, on April 9, just before the international
    journalists arrived, I was transferred by the back door from the prison
    La Lima, where I was confined, to another prison, the 1580, wherein all
    sorts of outrages and humiliations, worthy of Nazi concentration camps,
    are committed against the inmates. Inmates are crammed in small spaces;
    there is a lack of food and proper sanitation, the violence is constant,
    the most basic rights of the prisoners and their families are violated.
    These sad conditions add up to make this prison a true concentration camp.

    In recent months there have been two large fires in the prison, the
    causes of which have yet to be explained. Multiple suicides also
    accompany daily life in this prison.

    Upon my arrival I started a hunger strike; I was put in solitary
    confinement with no light, no water, no clothes or toiletries. After
    several days I was violated by several guards, some of them held me by
    my limbs while another pressed my nostrils until I opened my mouth to
    breathe and a stinking soup was introduced into, which choked me; and
    thus again and again I was force fed this soup until I was on the floor
    of the cell completely covered in food, which I vomited uncontrollably.

    I want to denounce Lieutenant Colonel Carlos Quintana, head of the
    Provincial Penitentiary Administration of Havana who is directly
    responsible for what I have told above.

    I also want to clarify that my situation is not the worst. I wish that
    you could listen directly to the abused inmates in order they could
    explain for themselves the hell in which they live. I fear not being
    credible enough to expose the horror and the wickedness we suffer daily.

    The Cuban government must understand once and for all that it is
    impossible to maintain their power at the expense of people’s pain.

    We, who are suffering these terrible circumstances, strongly urge you to
    value this first-hand testimony, which I give under full oath; asking
    God to put His holy hands on this country forgotten by the international
    community, and that the testimonies of the prisoners such as myself can
    be heard. We ask that Cuba signs the UN covenants and accepts the
    statements of Human Rights declarations, and if it does not do so, that
    appropriate measures should be taken to expel the existing Cuban
    government from the concert of free nations.

    We are a devastated country that, despite these fifty-four years of
    slavery, still dreams of becoming a prosperous and free nation. We need
    help and support, we need that this horror, the one my fellow inmates
    and I have and continue to suffer, be halted.

    I beg you to accept my gratitude in advance.

    Yours faithfully,

    Angel Santiesteban
    Prisión 1580.

    Partial list of those sanctioned and processed for political reasons
    drawn up on the basis of what the Cuban Commission of Human Rights and
    National Reconciliation published this year, more cases have been added
    since then. There may be more cases we do not know:

    1- Abreu Bonora, M.arcelino
    2- Alcalá Aramboru, Harold
    3- Alonso Hernández, Claro Fernando
    4- Alonso Parada, Lázaro
    5- Álvarez Pedrozo, Pedro de la Caridad
    6- Álvarez Puig, Yordanis
    7- Arce Romero, Lewis
    8- Arcia Céspedes, Pavel
    9- Arzuaga Peña, Ariel Eugenio
    10- Ávila Sierra, Lázaro
    11- Borges Pérez, Ernesto
    12- Brachaw Alexander, Dolyn
    13- Bravo López, Joel
    14- Cano Díaz Joel
    15- Caraballo Betancourt, Madeline Lázara
    16- Castillo González, Reinaldo
    17- Cervantes García Jorge
    18- Cerezo Sirut Leandro
    19-Cobas Sendó, Roelvis
    20- Cornel de la Rosa, Raúl Manuel
    21- Corrales Jiménez, Nayibis de la Caridad
    22- De Miranda Rubo, Karel
    23- Delgado Aramburo, Maikel
    24- Díaz Bouzá, Miguel
    25- Díaz Ortíz, José Ángel
    26- Farret Delgado, Yander
    27- Frenández Benitez, Luis Enrique
    28- Figuerola Miranda, Enrique
    29- Forbes Lamorú, Alain
    30- Frometa Allen, Eider
    31- Frometa Lobaina, Ángel
    32- Garro Alfonso, Sonia
    33- González Castillo, Eliso
    34- González Estrada, Alexander
    35- González Moreno, Ulises
    36- González Pozo, Eldris
    37- Gross, Allan Philip
    38- Guía Piloto, Yosiel
    39- Henry Grillo, Ramón
    40- Hermán Aguilera, José David
    41- Hernández Ruiz Ricardo
    42- Labrador Díaz, Luis Enrique
    43- Ledea Pérez, Wilmer
    44- Lescay Veloz, Rider
    45- Lima Cruz, marcos Maikel
    46- López de Moya, Danny
    47- Lozada Igarza, Luis Enrique
    48- Martín Calderín, Carlos Rafael
    49- Martín Calderín, Miraida
    50- Matos Montes de Oca, Rafael
    51- Muñoz González, Ramón Alejandro
    52- Mustelier Galán, Bismark
    53- Naranjo Bonne, Omar
    54- Núñez Pascual, Adriana
    55- Osoria Claro, Francisco
    56- Padrón Quintero, Santiago
    57- Parada Ramírez, Raúl
    58- Peña Ramírez Jesús Manuel
    59- Pérez Bocourt, Elias
    60- Pérez Pérez, Danny
    61- Pérez Puentes, Jorge Luis
    62- Piloto Barceló, David
    63- Planas Robert, Emilio
    64- Pradera Váldez, Máximo
    65- Puig Rodríguez, Yelkis
    66- Quvedo Valladares, Eliosbel
    67- Real Suárez, Humberto Eladio
    68- Reyes Rodríguez, Francisco
    69- Ribeau Noa, Arcelio
    70- Rivera Guerra, Niorvis
    71- Riveri Gascón, Ernesto Roberto
    72- Rodríguez Acosta, Osvaldo
    73- Rodrígez Castillo, Osvaldo
    74- Rodríguez Jiménez, Boris
    75- Romero Hurtado, Lázaro
    76- Salmerón Mendoza, Erick
    77- Sánchez Pérez, César Andrés
    78- Santiesteban Prats, Ángel Lázaro
    79- Santovenia Fernández, Daniel Candelario
    80- Sarraf Trujillo, Rolando
    81- Sosa Fortuny, Armando
    82- Surís de la Torre, Ihosvani
    83- Tavío López, Rogelio
    84- Terrero Carrión, Grerardo
    85- Thomas González, Yoanny
    86- Torres, Luis Antonio
    87- Torres Mártínez, Yoan
    88- Tudela Iríbar, Rolando
    89- Triana González, Orlando
    90- Vargas Martín, Alexei
    91- Vargas Martín, Diango
    92- Vargas Martín, Vianco
    93- Vázquez Osorio, Juan Carlos

    Political prisoners who continue to serve their sentences on parole:

    1- Argüelles Morán, Pedro
    2- Biscet González, Oscar Elías
    3- Díaz Fleitas, Eduardo
    4- Espinosa Chepe, Oscar Manuel
    5- Ferrer García, José Daniel
    6- Gónzalez Marrero, Disodado
    7- Hérnandez Carrillo, Iván
    8- Linares García, Librado
    9- López Pérez, Abel
    10- Maseda Gutiérrrez, Héctor
    11- Moya Acosta, Ángel Juan
    12- Navarro Rodríguez, Felix
    13- Olivera Castillo, Jorge
    14- Palacios Ruiz Héctor
    15- Ramos Lauzurique Arnaldo
    16- Roque Caballero, Martha Beatriz

    30 April 2013