Villa Marista: The transformation of a school into Cuba’s most dreaded torture chamber

Villa Marista in the 1950’s

From our Bureau of Unwanted Transformations

Castro, Inc. has committed innumerable crimes. Here is the story of one of the worst. It involves turning a former Catholic School into the island’s epicenter of repression.

Recently, when Luis Manuel Otero was arrested he became one of the thousands of Cubans taken there, and this is what he had to say about it.

And HERE is what Human Rights Watch has to say about Castro, Inc.’s treatment of political prisoners.

As usual, the world’s news media regurgitated the propaganda spewed by the Ministry of Truth: “Oh, look, how wonderful…free education…. and former military facilities being turned into schools…blah, blah…..”

Meanwhile, the best schools on the island were deliberately trashed or turned into prisons and torture chambers.

Abridged and loosely translated from Diario de Cuba:

In 1959, with the triumph of the revolution, the Moncada barracks in Santiago de Cuba, the Santa Clara Police Station and the former headquarters of the Columbia General Staff in Havana, were some of the many buildings that went from being fortresses to school centers or cities. In total, it is estimated that at the end of 1960, a total of 69 facilities were transformed into military barracks and fortresses.

Months later, the transformation process occurred in the reverse direction and school institutions, and mainly religious ones, began to be used as headquarters of the new Government, assuming political and military functions …

Of course, from the propaganda apparatus that the press became, this was not covered, contrary to the entire process of transforming military barracks and stations into schools, supported by the discourse of universal access to education.

Perhaps the best known example was the usurpation of the Colegio de los Hermanos Marista, in Havana, where it went from being one of the most recognized educational centers in the Republic to becoming the headquarters of the regime’s political police.

The Castro regime changed the classrooms of Villa Marista for confinement cells, and its religious teachings for harassment and torture of inmates locked up there for political reasons. Today it is the headquarters of State Security and its mention in the news always means repression and a brake on the democratization of the country. Many of the Cubans who protested on June 11 were dragged to Villa Marista, and the artist Hamlet Lavastida is locked up there.

The democratic future of Cuba will require a memorialization work in place, as has happened in Latin America in several of the torture and detention centers of the dictatorial regimes. Likewise, you will be able to contemplate the return of these facilities to what they should never have ceased to be: a study center specialized in the training of teachers and professors.

Read the whole piece HERE in Spanish