The Decline of Cuba

“Cuba is a police state.” Dr. Oscar Biscet, President of the Lawton Foundation for Human Rights

“Give me a good definition of communism? Cuba!” Anon

“The Congressional Black Caucus spends more time in Havana than in Washington.” Anon

“[Congressional Black Caucus member] Danny K. Davis (D-IL), longtime ally of President Barack Obama, was in Chicago recently accepting the Social Justice Award from People’s World, a Communist-based website.” RedState.com, March 13, 2012

“The Social Justice Award was given to the Congressman at the Chicago headquarters of the Communist Party USA—a location that the Congressman seemed to be perfectly comfortable with…” RedState.com, March 13, 2012

“Davis is a member of the House Committee on Homeland Security.” RedState.com, March 13, 2012

People’s World website: “The editorial mission is partisan to the working class, people of color, women, young people, seniors, LGBT community, to international solidarity; to popularize the ideas of Marxism and Bill of Rights socialism. The websites enjoy a special relationship with the Communist Party USA, founded in 1919, and publish its news and views.” RedState.com, March 13, 2012

***

“My country [Cuba] continues to be run by a brutal regime that oppresses the people, systematically violating our basic freedoms. That regime is a relic of the Cold War, and there’s little hope for change without substantial international pressure.

“Cuba is a police state. Government agents spy on and harass anyone advocating for human rights. They beat and imprison anyone seeking peaceful political change. They arbitrarily arrest and detain Cubans for Orwellian infractions like ‘disrespecting patriotic symbols’ and ‘insulting symbols of the fatherland.’ Cuban state security closely monitors citizens’ daily life, including all of our incoming mail, telephone calls and emails. The only legal press and the only newspaper are fun by the dictatorship. Independent journalists who seek to challenge state propaganda are threatened and jailed.

“Cuban jails are living hells in which flagrant violations of human dignity occur daily. I’ve spend over 12 years incarcerated, most recently for ‘crimes against state security’—that is, asking the Cuban state to respect the fundamental humans rights of every Cuban citizen.

“The prison system in Cuba flagrantly violates the minimum requirements for prisoner care established by the United Nations. During my years in prison, I personally witnessed prisoners left for 12-24 hours with their hands and feet handcuffed behind their backs, stripped naked in groups without any regard for human modesty, tortured physically and psychologically with tasers, beaten to death for requesting basic medical attention, and kept for months in cells without ventilation, natural light, drinkable water or restroom facilities.

“If prisoners attempt to plush for better treatment, they risk death. In one case in 2010, on the second floor of the Cominado del Este prison in Havana, a young prisoner who suffered from two chronic medical conditions—asthma and cardiac problems related to valve pathologies—was beaten and died after complaining that he was not allowed to see a doctor. While I was imprisoned, three prisoners tried to assassinate me on different occasions. Two of them later told me that they had been hired to do so by military officials.

“I continue to witness the personal ruin that the regime inflicts on anyone who offers an alternative voice. For me, the harassment started in 1998 when, while giving a conference at a hospital on the right to life, I was violently attacked and expelled by a mob dispatched by the Communist Party. Since then, I’ve been denied the ability to practice medicine.

“My wife and son have had their lives threatened and have been pressured to abandon me. We have been evicted from our house. I had my right foot fractured from a beating by state police.

“Yet there are still thousands of brave Cubans standing up to the Castro brothers and demanding their basic rights, even under threat of torture and death. Our ranks are growing. But we need the help of the international community.” Oscar Biscet, The Wall Street Journal, March 21, 2012, p. A13

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