Cuban penal law allows dictatorship to preemptively arrest dissenters and to hide the true number of political prisoners

Havana, 11 July 2021

From our Bureau of Penal Code Prestidigitation with some assistance from our Bureau of Socialist Tolerance, Compassion, and Social Justice

According to the NGO Prisoners Defenders –based in Spain — the true number of political prisoners in Cuba is much higher than the official count. Even worse, this situation has existed for decades. The camouflage was created long ago by a law that allows Castro, Inc. to imprison dissidents and potential dissidents for simply being “prone to committing crimes or disrupting social and constitutional order.”

Prisoners Defenders estimates that for many decades an average of 3,850 people have been sentenced to prison annually for their “potential criminality” and this has placed them in the category of common criminals rather than their true status as dissenters.

This story about Castro, Inc.’s penal code is eerily similar to the plot of “Minority Report”, a 2002 science fiction film that takes place in the year 2054, in which a specialized police department—Precrime—apprehends criminals before they can commit any crime by simply monitoring their thoughts and emotions.

So, see, Castrogonia is really stranger than science fiction and a truly visionary and futuristic when it comes to the art of repression.

Loosely translated from Marti Noticias

The independent organization Prisoners Defenders (PD) warns in a recent report that in the new Cuban Penal Code, in force since 2022, the Law on “Pre-criminal Social Dangerousness” was not eliminated but disguised under the name “Pre-criminal Penal Disobedience.”

The report draws attention to an increased application of pre-criminal sentences by the Cuban regime and assures that for months they have been pressuring judicial instances to increasingly apply Pre-criminal Penal Disobedience.

“Cuban officials explained to us in detail that the government is launching a campaign to increase the rate of pre-criminal sentences and thus reduce the list of monitored political prisoners, to reduce the political cost, generating terror in the new generations to increase social control,” says the NGO based in Spain.

The pre-criminal sentence is applied in the new Cuban Penal Code under Article 434.1, concerning “warnings” for being “prone to committing crimes or disrupting social and constitutional order,” and Article 189.3, an expansion of the crime of “disobedience” based on authorities’ estimation that an individual does not follow the “warnings.”

“Every year, for decades, an average of 3,850 people have been sentenced to prison annually for this reason, and the new Penal Code continues the pre-criminal measure with pre-criminal penal disobedience (…) This measure was known and denounced, but figures were never given, neither by the state nor by civil society, so it went unscrutinized for decades,” PD denounces.

The NGO indicates that the regime’s repressive machinery “worked like a clock” and ensured that Cuba was not condemned for the immense number of politically motivated prisoners, estimated at about 11,000 people, according to PD.

“But this repressive machine suffered an irreversible setback on January 13, 2020, due to our investigation, which led to more and more condemnations in the European Parliament and other institutions, indicating the immense number of prisoners for parapolitical reasons, as they could be termed,” adds PD.

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