Cuba Archive has published on its website a report entitled "How many political prisoners are there in Cuba?" Following is a summary of the 4-page report (see the report for details and sources).
Files recovered from the former Stasi, political police of the communist German Democratic Republic, indicate there were 18,000 prisoners in Cuba in 1965 and 3,300 in 1978. The Mitrokhin archives of the former Soviet KGB has at least one reference of 8,000 prisoners in Cuba in 1974. Cuban researcher Efrén Córdova reports of 19,000 political prisoners in 1967. Former prisoner of conscience Ambassador Armando Valladares that when he was imprisoned (1960 to 1982), the number of "counterrevolutionary" prisoners island-wide was, according to a blackboard at the Castillo del Príncipe prison, 82,000. According to Valladares, his fellow political prisoners estimated that there were at least 200 prisons and labor camps in Cuba.
In June 2018, the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation, CCDHRN, reported 120 prisoners for political reasons as of May 31, 2018. It notes that these individuals are "held in maximum security” -96 are opponents or disaffected to the regime and 24 are prisoners accused of employing or planning to use some form of force or violence to carry out "acts against the security of the State.” The list does not include individuals held in minimum security facilities or labor camps or many thousands of Cubans who are not members of an opposition political movement but are believed to be imprisoned for underlying political reasons yet sentenced and reported otherwise.
Given the nature of the Cuban system, the definition of "political prisoner" reflects changing circumstances. Once the mass executions ceased, armed insurrections were defeated, the remaining resistance was mostly exiled, and the massive political imprisonment of the 1960s diminished, the regime was able to institutionalize terror and indoctrination to subdue the population; this considerably reduced direct confrontation with the government. Also, mass migration from the earliest days of the revolution has allowed the most disaffected Cubans to leave the country or devote their hope and energies to finding ways to do so, reducing interest and resources to oppose the regime. It is, thus, not necessary to impose patently political prison sentences.Add a comment Leer más...