At the time of his death, Harol Brito was only 39 years old. He had spent 16 years of his life in prison because of ‘disrespect’ against the Commander in Chief, threat, resistance and disobedience against the authorities. State Security began to investigate him when he was 13 years old due to ‘ideological diversion’. While he was serving a sentence in the provincial ‘El Tipico’ prison of Las Tunas for supposedly robbing someone violently, he died handcuffed in a room of the Che Guevara Hospital at 1:30 pm on February 12, 2011.
Letter from Hell
by Harol Brito Parra
January 26th 2011- “I, prisoner Harol Brito Parra (number 35166), am locked away in cell # 4 of Hallway H of Detachment #15 of the Provincial Las Tunas Prison for being a political persecuted pacifist who, ever since I was a child, proclaimed myself an enemy of the Castro tyranny which, for 52 years, has oppressed and subdued our Cuban nation, killing, torturing, and terrorizing without the least bit of remorse.
They jail us, they disappear us, they harass us, they insult us, and I really think that there are no words adequate to describe so much criminality. And the nations, governments, and humanity in general, around the world do nothing to put an end to so much pain and suffering.
I am 39 years old, and I have spent my life in prison. I spent approximately 14 years in prisons of maximum security and 2 years in the prisons which apply forced labor. These consisted of subhuman conditions, thriving with diseases such as HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis, bronchitis, leptospirosis, broncho-pneumonia, as well as famine, rats, cockroaches, fleas, and other bugs. God knows this is true.
The prisons of the Castro tyranny are hell on earth. They refuse us medicines and on top of that they take away our medical attention to hand it out among the terrorist buddies of the Castros throughout various countries of the world. And of course, as the saying goes ‘there is no one more blind than he who wishes to not see’. Neither nations nor the world want to take a look at the suffering of the Cuban people. And I am not saying this without facts and proof. I have been victim of everything I said I have suffered, and much more. My intention is not to speak lies, I have much proof to show of what my life has been like, and proving that all I say is true.
In 1996, while I was imprisoned in the punishment cells of Detachment #47 in Combinado del Este in the city of Havana, I became sick due to the excessive humidity and the subhuman conditions. I suffered from broncho-pneumonia, and my left lung was heavily damaged, and I am convinced that it was God who saved me. And I say that because the doctors said I was miraculously fine after they saw that the liquid which had gotten into my lung and ribs had disappeared by giving me medicines.
After suffering this disease, my health did not improve, for I never was able to get back to my normal weight. My body has been sick, so much so that words cannot describe it. Last year, in April, I nearly died. Or better said, they did all in their power to let me die.
Thanks, first of all to God and his will, many members of the opposition and many independent journalists worked together to not let me die: Jose Daniel Ferrer, “Papito”, Caridad Caballero, Juan Carlos Gonzalez Leyva, Alberto Mendez Castello, Ana Belkis Ferrer, Roberto de Jesus, and many other people and various churches from my village (Puerto Padre) prayed for my health, offered me food and medicine, something which the “New Pines” Church, which my mother attends to meet with Jesus Christ, did as well.
When the guards had no other option but to let the doctors tend to me for so many reasons and so much pressure, then they were not able to get pleasure from seeing me die little by little.
I had a very large tumor in my throat and suffered from ganglionic pneumonia which affected all my organs and all my body. Once again they had no other option but to isolate me and give me medicines.
I am writing this letter to denounce to the world that the medicines given to me did not cure my disease. I took the 100 doses given to me during a period of 6 to 20 days, the 60 doses of 14 pills day after day, and the 40 doses of 7 pills on Mondays and Thursdays for 4 months and 20 days. Not once did I refuse those medications. I took all the pills that were given to me. And I am not lying about what I am going to say: They released me without having been cured. On November 4th, the pneumonia specialists told me they were going to take me back to prison.
Since that day, I have been in the prison of Las Tunas living in conditions which are truly subhuman. I have told my relatives, my brother dissidents, the independent journalists, my friends, and everyone that I am fine. Having much faith in God, and confiding in him and trying to prevent those who love me from suffering. But everything has its time and everything under this sky has its day. The time has come to, with much valor, tell the world that I am slowly dying because of my lung disease. And it must also be said that neither the directors of this prison nor the health workers of the prison have done what they are supposed to do and are letting me die. In December, because of my demands, the prison authorities were forced to do a sputum test on me and x-rays. The results of the sputum exam were not shared with me or my family. Why do they hide the results? The x-ray appeared in one of the thousands of drawers of the prison, but not as something that was being filed, but something that was being hidden.
Thank God I was there the moment they took it out, because, thank God I knew that it was there where they were hiding it. Why was it not sent to a pulmonary specialist and why was it being hidden? Why do they hide it? Please, someone on earth, upon knowing of my situation, please intercede for me so that I do not die little by little, like the Castro dictatorship wants”.
Translated by Raul G.
17 June 2011