Cuba, the largest prison in the world

This morning a report has been presented in Madrid that includes the “most significant” criminal data of Cuba updated “and so far unpublished”. Prepared by the European NGO Cuban Prisoners Defenders, it includes the total number of prisoners in the penitentiary system, number of prisoners for causes, as well as the number of prisoners for their conduct (pre-criminal sentences), and which mainly affects those people who are going against “with socialist morals,” that is, dissident, opponents and entrepreneurs.

According to the document, there would currently be around 90,000 prisoners in Cuban prisons, which would make Cuba the country with the largest inmate population in the world, with 794 inmates per 100,000 inhabitants (the US ranks second) . A fact that denies the figures that the Cuban regime offered, through the newspaper «Granma», its propaganda body, in 2012, when it indicated that the inmate population was 57,336, which reduced to 510 the number of prisoners per 100,000 (and placed Cuba in sixth place worldwide). These data are the only ones that were still valid, in the absence of an official update, according to the information published by the Institute for Criminal Policy Research (ICPR) on its website, where those of 2012 are maintained.

The report indicates that a year more than 32,000 criminal cases are initiated in Cuba, which means that between 35,000 and 40,000 people are charged annually in court, and between 93 and 95% convicted. That is, between 32,000 and 37,000 people. Of those found guilty receive 69% deprivation of liberty sanctions at the national level, that is, between 22,000 and 25,500 people will obtain prison or correctional work sanctions in a penitentiary establishment.

These data, unpublished so far, have been able to be prepared by the NGO Prisoners Defenders thanks to “internal documentation of the regime that I have sent to diplomatic links and is verified and unintended,” Javier Larrondo, president of the NGO, tells ABC.

The report, presented today at the headquarters of the Spanish Transition Foundation, emphasizes pre-criminal records, “prisoners without crime, data we have obtained from prison studies, file records and macro data obtained from leaks of devices from the State. We have known for almost a year that they are of the order of 11,000 cases, 8,400 directly behind bars as we now know exactly, and that they confirm the internal documents contrasted with the official documentation ». A documentation to which this newspaper has had access and has been able to consult.

Larrondo denounces vehemently, this type of condemnation, which reflects «the repression of rights of opinion and the arbitrariness that is distilled with the 11,000 prisoners for pre-criminal, that is, for prejudice and without crime, is very sad. There are 11,000 families affected each year, with relatives with sentences of 1 to 4 years, without having committed any crime, where the average penalty is more than 2 years in prison.

Prisons and forced labor camps
On the divergence of figures, among which the regime admitted in 2012 through “Granma”, compared to those collected now, Larrondo underlines the veracity of the latter. «I have proven official documentation that I have been able to show you, and” Granma “is a mere propaganda newspaper that is not even officially from the government. The figure given by Prisoners Defenders, unfortunately, is true and accurate. There are 90,300 convicted prisoners, and 37,500 convicts who are in other non-prison criminal situations, at the end of the first half of 2019 ». According to the report, there would currently be a total of 127,800 people who are serving criminal types in Cuba, “and the majority in prisons and forced labor camps. It’s a barbarity”.

These data place Cuba as the largest prison in the world «without a doubt, and it has been that way for tens of years. The problem is that only now we have been able to prove it with undisputed official documents ”, emphasizes the president of PD in reference to the opacity of the Cuban regime.

The report also stops at the mass pardons and releases that the Cuban Government has been carrying out for years, to control prison spending and make room in prisons overcrowded for new convicts, especially those convicted of antisocial behavior (which affects dissidents, opponents and entrepreneurs). «Common prisoners are released or transferred to other regimes to lower the costs of the prison system, and this policy has been constant since 2015. The percentage of political prisoners, over the total, increases every year that prison release and drainage policies are made. prisoners, because it does not affect politicians or disaffection with the system. Neither those who are presidentially pardoned each year to reduce the costs of imprisonment (prison drainage), between 2,000 and 3,000 a year, nor those who obtain measures other than those of incarceration, do they affect political prisoners or those affected by the “revolution” than to common prisoners, ”says Larrondo.

According to the data collected in the report, 21,600 common prisoners obtain benefits from early release in Cuba each year.

After having this information in hand, the president of PD, an NGO that has denounced the Cuban regime, before the UN and the ICC of The Hague, for the exploitation of Cuban doctors in international missions, and who has campaigned for the The release of jailed opponent José Daniel Ferrer, says that the most serious thing he has been able to contrast is the repression suffered by the Cuban population. «A non-criminal, quiet population. In Cuba there are no clans, mafias or racial, religious or other conflicts. In Cuba the population is good, simple, with a good heart. His only crime is trying to survive. The system cannot punish this attempt to survive when it is unable to give the Cuban the mechanisms for it, because it has faced the whole world, and because its economic rights policy, in addition to other rights, does not allow the Cuban by law neither to import, nor to receive investment for a business, nor to have an alternative supply of inputs when those of the State are not sufficient.

Accustomed to denials and the manipulation of the facts by the regime, Larrondo does not believe that in this case the Government of Cuba denies these figures: «I am not entirely clear, because they do not know the documents, many, official, of the highest level, contrasted, and that already diplomatic sources have. It would be a very strong price of discredit both external and internal with their leaders, who know that the figures we give are true. Dr. Edel González himself [que ha estado en esta mañana en la presentación del informe, y al que ABC ha podido entrevistar] He has confessed to us, after seeing him when he arrived in Madrid and let him study the documents, reliable copies, analyzed and contrasted by experts, that what we have obtained in Prisoners Defenders and Civil Rights Defenders is sadly irrefutable ». .

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