Soviet dissident exposed the political abuse of psychiatry in socialist Cuba

Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovsky

Via the Center for a Free Cuba:

Soviet Dissident Vladimir Bukovsky on the political abuse of psychiatry in Cuba under the Castro regime

In 1991 Freedom House and Of Human Rights publishedThe Politics of Psychiatry in Revolutionary Cuba (1991) by Charles J. Brown and Armando M. Lago that reported on the political abuse of psychiatry in Cuba under the Castro regime. The preface was written by Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovsky, who passed away in England on October 27, 2019 from a heart attack. Below is the original biographical summary of this courageous man quoted from the above mentioned book. 

Vladimir Bukovsky was a leading member of the democratic movement in the Soviet Union during the 1960s and 1970s. He spent twelve years in Soviet prisons, labor camps, and psychiatric hospitals for his work on behalf of human rights, particularly his revelations about the abuse of psychiatry in the Soviet Union. In December 1976, he was released from prison in an exchange for the Chilean Communist leader Luis Corvalán, and expelled to Switzerland. He now resides in Cambridge, England. Mr. Bukovsky is the author of To Build a Castle: My Life as a Dissenter; Letters of a Russian Traveler; and The Peace Movement and the Soviet Union. His most recent work, USSR: From Utopia to Disaster was just published in Europe. Below is a photograph from 1987 when he was attending a meeting in the Netherlands.

The Soviet dissident had founded Resistance International along with Cuban dissident Armando Valladares in France in May of 1983, and together they campaigned against communist dictatorships. In December of 1986 Vladimir Bukovsky reviewed Armando Valladares’s memoir Against All Hope in The American Spectator in which he described an incident that took place in Caracas, Venezuela when they sought to speak up for the Miskito Indians, who were being massacred by the Sandinistas in Nicaragua at the time. Sadly, his conclusion remains relevant today: 

“No hatred or bitterness disturbs his dispassionate account because those who are not broken only pity their tormentors. Yet Against All Hope is an indictment nevertheless. It is an indictment of the world’s complicity and indifference, an indictment of the Western sympathizers with the “charismatic revolutionary leader” Fidel Castro, who silenced the screams of the tortured. Thanks to them, the names of La Cabaña and Boniato, Isla de Piños and Combinado del Este are not known to the world, as Auschwitz and Bitburg are.” … It is an indictment of Monsignor Cesar Zacchi, the Vatican’s ambassador to Cuba, and of Pierr Schori, secretary of the Swedish Social Democratic party, of all the advocates of “quiet diplomacy” and the architects of the silence that surrounds the crimes of Communism — in the words of Valladares, “the silence of complicity.”

Yesterday, in an interview with Radio Marti, Ambassador Armando Valladares expressed his sadness at the passing of his colleague stating, “Vladimir Bukovsky is my great friend and I feel a tremendous pain knowing of his death.” … “We did the Paris tribunal where we condemned the crimes of Castroism.” … “We have lost a great fighter against communism.” [ Segments of the Paris Tribunal appeared in the 1987 documentary Nobody Listened]

Bukovsky had experienced the abuse of psychiatry for political reasons in the Soviet Union first hand and written about it, and was able to provide a broader context to what was happening (and still happens) in Cuba.

Continue reading HERE.