In Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua, there are political prisoners, a fact that is certified by human rights’ defense organizations and the news media. These are men and women, political, civic, and union leaders, they are military and police, they are human beings who endure torture and are subjected by dictatorships’ violence. Beyond the fact that Castrochavism’s political prisoners are living proof of crimes against humanity and state-sponsored terrorism, they are also victims of the deadpan attitude of international organizations, democratic leaders and governments who ignore them as though they were invisible.
The Castroist method “to judicialize political persecution and dissent” that was instituted with summary trials and executions by firing squads since the beginnings of the disgrace against the Cuban peoples, has been institutionalized in this 21st century as Castrochavist methodology in Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, and in Ecuador with Correa. It consists of accusing the victims as the perpetrators of crimes they never committed or to attribute to them those crimes that were committed by the regime’s members, falsifying evidence and subjecting them to prosecutors and judges who are executioners in proceedings that are criminal violations of the legal “due process”, the “presumption of innocence”, “equality before the law”, the “impartiality of the judge”, and the “non-retroactivity of the law”, and whose outcome are previously arranged sentences.
The judicialization of political persecution is a crime, a real criminal undertaking, that includes material falsification or counterfeiting, false accusations, a criminal conspiracy, crimes against public trust, prevarication, arbitrary arrests, torture, and more. All of these crimes institutionalized under the purview and power of the State and backed by “despicable laws” (that violate human rights). This is a “crime against humanity” and “State-sponsored terrorism”.
In Cuba, in the aftermath of the massive street demonstrations of 11 July (11-J) through which the people asked for “freedom, Homeland and life”, the 134 political prisoners certified up to January of 2021 increased to over one thousand. Up to now, Prisoner’s Defenders indicate an additional 272 political prisoners to date. Cuba’s dictatorship has chosen to have house-arrests in order to reduce the number of political prisoners in statistics, sending hundreds of its victims to their house under the modality of control and recurrent or rotational detentions. ABC’s correspondent Camila Acosta is one of these victims.
In Venezuela, the National Human Rights’ Observatory published a list of over 467 political prisoners, 157 of whom are military. Up to 16 August of 2021, the Venezuelan Penal Forum certifies that there are 265 political prisoners, 134 of whom are military, denouncing that “political prisoners can no longer be used as tokens for negotiation”. CNN Chile in an interview with Francisco Cox a member of the UN mission in Venezuela, claimed the existence of a report regarding “arbitrary detentions, forcible disappearances, torture, and extra-judicial executions” as examples of how the Venezuelan dictatorship violates human rights.
In Bolivia we just learned of a suicide attempt by former president Jeanine Añez, the regime’s most notorious political prisoner. The dictatorship has downplayed this serious situation by insinuating she had suffered “self-caused scratches”. According to New Herald reports in the aftermath of her attempt, Mrs. Añez stated “I don’t want to live anymore. . . I don’t want any more medications that I don’t even know what they are, I ask my jailers to please tell me what I am taking”, something that proves torture. Global Human Rights League certified, as a partial listing as of 24 August of 2021, that there are 37 political prisoners in Bolivia, 10 of whom are military and 3 police.
According to Infobae reporting, based on the mechanism for the recognition of persons who are political prisoners, in Nicaragua there are at least 156 political prisoners. Most notorious prisoners are candidates Cristiana Chamorro, Arturo Cruz, Feliz Maradiaga, Miguel Moral, Juan Sebastián Chamorro, Medardo Mairena and Noel Vidaurre, all imprisoned to keep them from participating in the upcoming 7 November elections. Journalists, businessmen, civic leaders and ordinary citizens comprise the listing of 139 Nicaraguans previously political prisoners in the context of April of 2018.
Without exception, these political prisoners of the 21st Century Socialism’s dictatorships, or Castrochavism, don’t count as living proof that should prevent the relationship of democracies with dictatorial regimes. For economic assistance organizations that continue doling out money and financial aid to dictatorships, these human beings do not exist. These persons are not even considered so that the International Penal Tribunal can fulfill its obligations regarding dictators. In a nutshell, these are political prisoners that can no longer be treated as “invisible”.
*Attorney & Political Scientist. Director of the Interamerican Institute for Democracy.
Translated from Spanish by; Edgar L. Terrazas, member of the American Translators Association, ATA # 234680.
Published in Spanish by Infobae.com Sunday August 29, 2021.
“The opinions published herein are the sole responsibility of its author”.