In Fidel Castro's gulag, you will find political prisoners whose work on the outside as journalists, librarians and human rights activists, landed them behind bars. You also will find disaffected agents of the dictatorship — military officers, secret policemen and the like — who could not stomach what they were being ordered to do, and turned against the regime, at a great cost for them.
One of those men was former naval officer Idelfonso Batista Cruz. I could not find details about his opposition to the regime, except that in 1994, Batista, now 44, was convicted of espionage and armed robbery, and sentenced to 20 years in prison.
CubaPP.Info has some details about his military background, and what has happened to him while in prison:
Batista Cruz was a member of the Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces for 12 years and at one point in his military career was second in command in charge of operations at the Oriente Naval Base. Batista Cruz became appalled with the systematic and arbitrary manner the Cuban government deprives its citizens of their civil rights.
Batista Cruz has continued his civil disobedience during his confinement at the Boniato prison. He has refused to attend roll call, to wear the uniform worn by the common prisoners and to visit with his family. Lieutenant Luis Enrique Sánchez López has threatened to ‘physically vanish’ Batista Cruz, who was transferred to the Mar Verde prison for his continued attitude of defiance.
Upon his arrival at the Mar Verde prison, Batista Cruz was placed in solitary confinement for 24 days. The threats against his life have continued at Mar Verde by the prison warden Liuetenat Colonel Manuel García Sarmiento and the State Security official assigned to the prison Colonel Juan Carlos Tabares.
One of the surest indicators of the repressive nature of the Castro regime is the jailing of political prisoners. To illustrate that reality, Uncommon Sense each week profiles one prisoner. There also is a Political Prisoner archive on the right sidebar. To suggest a prisoner for a profile, send me an e-mail.
For profiles of imprisoned Cuban journalists and related information, read the March 18 Project.