After spending the last 23 years of his life in a Cuban gulag, the apartheid Castro dictatorship has finally released Lamberto Hernandez Plana, a black Cuban dissident. Hernandez Plana’s time in prison is only four years short of the much heralded South African dissident Nelson Mandela’s 27 years, and Hernandez Plana certainly was not provided with the plush quarters Mandela enjoyed during his last few years of incarceration. Instead, the Afro Cuban Hernandez Plana spent every single day of those 23 years in the squalid, unsanitary, vermin-infested confines of a Castro prison where he was subjected to both physical and psychological torture every single day.
But the decades-long imprisonment of a black man by a white apartheid regime simply for his political beliefs and the color of his skin will not matter much to anyone in the media. They will ignore his plight like they have ignored the plight of countless Cubans, many of them black, who have been victimized, enslaved, and terrorized for more than a half century by Cuba’s apartheid Castro dictatorship.
Cuban political prisoner Lamberto Hernández Plana released after 23 years in Castro gulag
Lamberto Hernandez Plana, who transformed himself into a committed member of the Cuban opposition after his unjust imprisonment 23 years ago, has been released from prison.
Hernandez, 45, was originally jailed on a bogus charge of “theft” after he refused to become an informant for the secret police, according to a May 2013 blog post by imprisoned Cuban writer Angel Santiesteban, who was imprisoned with Hernandez at the La Lima prison in Guanabacoa.
“In 2003, his sentenced was extended after he broke a prison television and shouted anti-government slogans during the airing of a speech by Fidel Castro,” the Council of Human Rights Rapporteurs said in a statement announcing Hernandez’s release on Saturday.
A veteran of about a dozen hunger strikes while in jail, Hernandez is an activist with both the human rights council and the Authentic Cuban Revolutionary Party.
Much of what is known about Hernandez’s background was described in the blog post by Santiesteban, entitled “Lamberto Hernández Plana or How a Dissident is Born.”
In his report, Santiesteban describes the circumstances of Hernandez’s initial imprisonment, the tortures he suffered while in jail and how while imprisoned, he refused renewed efforts by the dictatorships to make him a snitch.
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