Cuba’s female political prisoners serving longer prison sentences than convicted murderers

If you want to know how equality and women’s rights look like under socialism, just take a look at communist Cuba.

Via Martí Noticias (my translation):

Cuban women who are political prisoners serving longer sentences than those sentenced for murder

In addition to sentencing them to long prison terms for exercising their civil liberties, the Cuban State does not guarantee adequate food or access to medication for political prisoners. In some cases, they are denied the right to prison benefits, as reported by their relatives to Martí Noticias.

This is the case of Tania Echevarría Menéndez, a member of the “Damas de Blanco” (Ladies in White), who was sentenced to six years in prison on charges of “public disorder” and “contempt” due to her participation in the peaceful protests that took place on July 11, 2021, in Colón, Matanzas.

According to her sister, Dilayda Echevarría, Tania is suffering from uncontrolled diabetes in prison, where she was diagnosed with the disease.

“She continues to have high blood sugar, and she is deteriorating. There are no medications there; every time I visit her, I bring her medication,” said the sister of the political prisoner.

Sissi Abascal Zamora and Saylí Navarro, also members of the “Damas de Blanco,” were also taken to Bellotex prison, where they are serving sentences of six and eight years, respectively.

Activist Annia Zamora, who recently visited her daughter Sissi, said the young women are in good health but have become thin “due to the hardships they are facing there and the poor nutrition, but they remain steadfast in their beliefs,” she stated.

At the women’s prison located in El Guatao, Havana, Aymara Nieto, another “Dama de Blanco,” is serving a second sentence of five years and four months. Her husband, dissident Ismael Boris Reñí, explained that she was just denied the benefit of parole.

“All the benefits that she is entitled to, right? They are denied, at least that’s what they say.”

Political prisoner María Cristina Garrido also remains in the same prison. Her sister, Angélica, was recently transferred to the labor camp Ceiba 4 in the Artemisa province. Luis Rodríguez, Angélica’s husband, visits both places.

“They told her (Angélica) to work in the fields, but she refused,” Rodríguez said.

The opposition member and political prisoner Lizandra Góngora, who was transferred to the Los Colonos prison on the Isla de la Juventud, received a visit from her children and her husband, Ángel Delgado, a few days ago. We contacted him.

“Discontented, because there are [some prisoners] there for murder, for rape, and they have fewer years (of sentence) than Lizandra, who, well, it’s not easy, 14 years… So she feels sad, alone, she can’t see the children. When leaving the prison, the children cry out,” Delgado said.

According to a report conducted in collaboration by several independent organizations, including Cubalex, Prisoners Defenders, Justicia 11J, and the Cuban Observatory of Human Rights, 106 women are in Cuban prisons serving sentences for political reasons.

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