From our Bureau of Socialist Social Justice Priorities
The people are starving, to hell with the people. Let them eat scraps left behind by tourists, that is, if they’re lucky enough to work as slaves in an apartheid resort or hotel.
Castro, Inc. continues to pursue its dream of turning Cuba into an apartheid human zoo where foreigners can gawk at repressed noble savages and also be served by them. Money is pouring into luxury hotel construction… money supplied by foreign investors –mostly Spanish — who partner up with Castro, Inc..
Then, in an ironic twist deeply soaked in hypocrisy, Castro, Inc. is also busy refurbishing the “Model Prison” in Isla de Pinos (now dubbed “Island of Youth”). This prison, built by dictator Gerardo Machado nearly a century ago, is one of the world’s most striking applications of philosopher Jeremy Bentham’s principle of the panopticon.
This 18th century principle proposes that if humans are constantly watched by superiors who can punish them for misbehaving, most humans will simply stop misbehaving in order to avoid being punished, even when no one is watching them. While Bentham’s principle was impossible to turn into practice in an entire country until the creation of 20th century totalitarian regimes, it spawned the creation of prisons in the 19th and early 20th century, in which all cells could be watched 24/7 by guards in a central tower.
Cuba’s “Model Prison” was built as a panopticon, with round buildings with a vast central courtyard and a guard tower in the middle of that courtyard. And this panopticon was itself the model for all the surveillance carried out by the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution that were established in every neighborhood throughout the entire island.
Now, Castro, Inc. wants to turn these buildings into a tourist attraction. Of course, if this project is ever completed, Castro Inc.’s Ministry of Tourism will say NOTHING to visiting tourists about its own use of this prison, which it filled with dissidents who were subjected to barbarous torture. If you’re the least bit curious about the horrific crimes committed by Castro, Inc. in this prison, read Armando Valladares’s memoir, Against All Hope.
And, naturally, Castro Inc. will never say anything about the fact that it crammed these buildings with an enormous amount of explosives during the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961, with the express purpose of annihilating all of the political prisoners inside of it. According to Valladares, Castro, Inc. came damn close to detonating those explosives.
So it goes…. the obscene charade seems unstoppable. It never dies. How appropriate that the person who currently runs this “museum” carries the surname “Venero” — which is derived from the same Latin root word as “Venereal”, as in “venereal disease” (now known as STD, or “sexually transmitted disease”….
Loosely translated from Diario de Cuba:
The Cuban Government is planning the restoration of the old Model Prison of Pinos Island so it can propose its candidacy as a World Heritage Site of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
Arsenio Sánchez Pantoja, coordinator of the strategy for the protection and comprehensive development of this monumental complex, told the official Cuban News Agency (ACN) that it is a Master Plan of the Office of the Historian of the city of Havana, in in which the Projects Company, the Municipal Directorate of Culture, the Office of Sites and Monuments of the Municipal Center of Cultural Heritage and the Presidio Modelo Museum participate on the part of Pineros.
Isabel Venero López, director of the Museo Presidio Modelo, said that the goal is to preserve one of the buildings in its original form, as part of the first capital repair process of the 34 objects from the old penitentiary.
The capital repair process will run from 2022 to 2030, covered by the Government’s Comprehensive Development Program.
Sánchez Pantoja presented the Model Prison as “a dynamic and transversal component in the local development” of the Isle of Youth. He said that it was necessary to influence “sensitization and communication to the population” of such a project as a parallel process.
The media did not offer details of the budget allocated for this capital repair, which is announced at a time of serious economic crisis, with a general shortage of basic necessities.
The construction of the Presidio Modelo began on February 1, 1926, when then President Gerardo Machado signed the act of laying the first stone. It is located in the Juan Delio Chacón neighborhood, four kilometers from the city of Nueva Gerona. It is currently suffering from “technical constructive deterioration”, a consequence of the prolonged lack of maintenance.
Continue reading HERE in Spanish