The Cuban gulag belies so many myths of the Castro revolution.
One, that the people are truly "free." How can they be, if they are not free to differ with their government, and that if they persist in their opposition, they risk being condemned to the hell of a Cuban prison.
Another myth that doesn't pass muster behind bars, is that Cuban health care provides benefits worth more than freedom. In fact, the dictatorship takes its revenge on political prisoners — like this week's Political Prisoner of the Week, Raúl Ramón Hernández Loyola — by denying them all but the most basic of care, giving them just what they need to save the regime the embarassment of them dying in jail.
Hernández's sister, Ana Dolores Hernández Loyola, told independent journalist Ahmed Rodríguez Albacia earlier this month, that officials at the La Atalaya prison in Camagüey had denied her brother access to care for his chronic pneumonia and asthma. A doctor at a prison hospital prescribed penicillin but Hernández was not admitted, so that he could receive the needed follow-up care.
Hernández, a delegate from the town of Minas, in Camagüey province, for the Christian Democratic Party, was convicted in November 2006 of being a "pre-criminal social danger" — that is, opposing the Castro dictatorship — and sentenced to 2 years in prison.
One of the surest indicators of the repressive nature of the Castro regime is the jailing of several hundred 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.