Lack of medical care, hunger, and overcrowding in Cuba’s prisons

Both political prisoners and common prisoners are complaining about the worsening conditions in communist Cuba’s historically ghastly prisons. Overcrowding, the lack of food, and little to no medical care is making matters worse in a prison system already known for its horrid and inhumane conditions.

Via Martí Noticias (my translation):

Cuban prisoners denounce overcrowding, hunger, and lack of medical care

Political and common prisoners denounced the hell they are living in Cuban prisons, overcrowded, without food or medication, and harassed by prison authorities.

The Council of Human Rights Reporters of Cuba sent several of these testimonies to Martí Noticias.

Yonay Moreu Leal, 40 years old, sentenced to 15 years in prison for the crime of sedition due to his participation in the July 11, 2021 demonstration in the town of Cárdenas, in the province of Matanzas, alerted from the Combinado Sur prison about the abuses prisoners are facing there and the communication restrictions imposed by prison officials to prevent inmates from reporting what is happening.

“I wanted to denounce the constant state of overcrowding in which we find ourselves. In an area 5.7 by 3.20 meters, there are up to 15 people living together, many of them sleeping on the floor. We go 48 hours without water, the food is terrible. There are no medications of any kind; they are always in short supply. Lack of communications, we can only call once a week, and they are reducing our phone time,” explained the July 11 prisoner from the Agüica Prison.

Also in the Combinado Sur de Matanzas, a common prisoner serving a 20-year sentence for the crime of robbery with force, Rolando Abreu Chile, 52 years old, denounced the lack of medications and medical assistance.

“I need a colonoscopy; I have problems in the colon. I’ve had two pancreatitis attacks, but the problem is they haven’t done anything for me. I don’t have medical assistance, and for several days in this prison where I am, they haven’t given me any food. They only give me bread and broth. Due to my health condition, I can’t be without eating; I’m hungry,” declared the common prisoner.

Maikel Armentero Oramas, 41 years old, participated with his sister Yilian Oramas and brother-in-law in a July 11 protest in the city of Santa Clara. Maikel, sentenced to 7 years for the crimes of assault and resistance, is in the Alambradas de Manacas prison, where conditions are precarious.

There, food is scarce, and the rice ration has been reduced by half, said the prisoner. “The cup doesn’t even reach 60 grams, and it should be 120, and a broth with pumpkin water, and nothing else, daily.”

“The bedbugs are unbearable; yesterday, I couldn’t even sleep. They have nothing to deal with them. Sometimes I manage to heat a little water and pour it on the bed to be able to sleep,” recounted Armenteros Oramas, who suffers from the aftermath of three brain surgeries due to a vehicular accident.

Juvier Jiménez Gómez, 52 years old, currently in the Cascajal prison camp in the Santo Domingo municipality, Villa Clara province, serving a five-year sentence for participating in the July 11 demonstration in the town of Placetas, is in poor health conditions and has been denied parole twice.

“I already have the right to parole, which they have denied me twice. I don’t know where we’re going to end up. I will have to serve the sentence,” said the man accused of public disorder, spreading epidemics, contempt, assault, and incitement to commit crimes.

Initially detained in the Manacas prison, the political prisoner referred to the lack of medical care in the new penitentiary.

“I have serious health problems, no medical assistance of any kind. I have a cancerous lip problem, and there has been no compassion. That is the situation I am in. Let the whole world know what is happening with the July 11 prisoners in Cuba,” emphasized Jiménez Gómez.

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