Cuba Archive Asks Embassies in Cuba to Mediate in the Case of a Political Prisoner

Carlos Manuel Pupo Rodríguez, 67, was sentenced to six years in prison for participating in the huge demonstrations of 11 July 2021 (Facebook)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 14 October 2022 – On Thursday the Cuba Archive organisation requested the international community to mediate in the case of the political prisoner Carlos Manuel Pupo Rodríguez, national coordinator of the Union for a Free Cuba Party.

In their petition: Why does it ’not matter’ that Cubans are dying of hunger?, the organisation urges ambassadors and high-ranking representatives of distinguished international organisations on the island to make an appearance at the hospital where the prisoner is currently interned, and demand updates on his medical condition.

Pupo Rodríguez, who is serving his sentence at the Kilo Cinco y Medio prison in Pinar del Río — where the anti-establishment rapper Maykel Osorbo is also being held — was given an emergency transfer this week to the Provincial Abel Santamaría hospital where, after pleas from his family, he dropped his hunger strike.

“They have kept him locked in a small cell, deprived of water, medical help, telephone calls and family visits”, says the NGO, which has its headquarters in Washington; this must therefore qualify his case as one of cruel punishment on the part of State Security. continue reading

In the document, Cuba Archive also requires, from specialists on torture and cruel treatment at the UN, from the International Red Cross and from the inter-American Commission on Human Rights, that they demand the immediate release of Pupo, and of all political prisoners in Cuba. In addition, they ask that all these international agencies carry out inspections in detention centres without prior notice.

Similarly, they ask that the Cuban media reflect on the realities of what’s happening in the prison system, and that public servants safeguard any archives which evidence the abuse of human rights. In their message, the NGO recapitulates that since the start of the Castro dictatorship, there have been at least 1,748 registered deaths of dissidents in custody, 27 of them through hunger strikes.

The organisation also mentions the case of another Cuban prisoner Andy Reyes, a 27 year-old who went on hunger strike after being sentenced to 25 years for a crime he insisted he was innocent of. “He died on the fifty-second day of his strike, demanding a lawsuit review in the face of a judicial system which is subordinate to a one-party communist regime and which lacks legal guarantees”.

Likewise, they remind us that the Council for Reporting on Human Rights in Cuba has estimated that “over a thousand prisoners have lost their lives in the past decade through beatings, torture, ill-treatment, inhumane conditions and lack of medical attention”, a situation which brings some political prisoners to declare hunger strike.

Pupo Rodríguez is one of the political prisoners in particular danger. He has been on hunger strike twice, most recently for 21 days after being sentenced to six years for taking part in the 11 July 2021 demonstrations in San Antonio de los Baños (Artemisa).

Besides calling for democratic nations to cease all actions which legitimise, finance and support the Cuban dictatorship, and instead to impose sanctions upon all of the agents of repression — including judges, attorneys and police — Cuba Archive demands that the Cuban regime “dismantles their repressive apparatus and allows for a peaceful transition to democracy”.

The NGO rebukes the Cuban regime, not only for the fact that it enjoys “complete impunity”, but that it occupies seats in distinguished organisations, for example its elected membership on the UN Council for Human Rights (2021-2023) and the Executive Council of the Panamerican Organization for Health (2020-2023).

Neither the Red Cross nor any other international body are able to monitor compliance to human rights law in the more than 100 large prisons in Cuba, just as they not able to do so in the 150 smaller penitentiaries and 300 police centres. Nor does the Cuban government even provide information to families of detainees or families of those who die in prison.

Translated by Ricardo Recluso


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The following tract provides Cubans an opportunity to exercise citizenship in a free virtual space. The text is a collaboration with input from a large and diverse group of Cubans who reside in Cuba and many other countries. The document was inspired by valuable efforts —historical and current— dealing with transition to democracy and/or sociopolitical cohesion to advance freedom in Cuba.

The catalysts of this initiative came together with the sole purpose of developing and advancing it, have not received any remuneration for their efforts and hold no interests other than those appearing in the text. The non-profit organization Cuba Archive certifies that this document was prepared collaboratively and is coordinating its support. (; +1.973.219-7000.)


We, Cubans residing in the national territory or forced to leave our country, claim the free exercise of all our civic, political, economic and cultural rights. We wish for peaceful change towards a State organized according to the principles of democracy under the rule of law as the only viable solution to the political, social, economic, and humanitarian crisis affecting Cuba.

Moved by the imperative need to rescue the nation and procure the individual and collective wellbeing, we call upon:

1. All Cubans, to exercise resistance, civil disobedience, and non-cooperation with mass organizations, repressive forces, or any order, mandate, measure, or imposition that violates human rights until the end of the dictatorship is achieved; and to a civic, plural, and inclusive national debate on how to carry out a true and effective transition process that respects the rights of all social actors.

2. The current regime, to dismantle the organs of repression and allow for a peaceful and orderly transition to democracy; and to the heads of the armed and security forces to cease collaborating and supporting the Communist Party and its organs of power.

3. Public officials and employees of government and State entities, to safeguard official documents and archives.

4. The international community, to not extend credits or material assistance to the current regime, to demand that it relinquish power and sanction its leaders if they refuse, to send humanitarian aid only through truly independent institutions and entities, or in extreme cases of disaster to help the people, to support the empowerment of Cuba’s citizens and their
access to telecommunications, and to help the Cuban people in their transition to democracy. continue reading

We urge Cubans of good will, including civic, political, religious, academic, and labor leaders, human rights activists, and other respected public figures from a wide variety of fields individually or on behalf of movements and groups— to coordinate strategies and purposes that foster agreements to enable a transition to democracy, for the good of the Cuban people.

We want a free, independent, and democratic Cuba whose sovereignty resides fully in its people, from whom all public powers shall derive. A transition to democracy is a complex and broad process but it should include all of Cuba’s citizens, regardless of their place of residence.

We suggest taking the Constitution of the Republic of 1940, the last one democratically adopted, as a legal frame of reference until an elected government is formed and/or a constitution is approved by popular consultation, except for paragraph 99(a), that does not allow asylees to
vote, and any others that are exclusive or impractical for these times.

During an initial transition period, we advocate:

1. The appointment of a provisional government of limited duration made up of individuals committed to a transition to a full democracy who will not be eligible to run for government positions in the first elections. Its functions would be to:

a) Coordinate the transfer of power and lead the initial transition period towards the restoration of all fundamental rights.

b) Provisionally administer the country and the State’sresources, prioritizing national security, public order, and essential services.

c) Plan and schedule general elections by universal, egalitarian, and secret suffrage in a prudent but brief period not exceeding 24 months, to elect a government that will advance and consolidate the transition and whose task will include preparing a draft Constitution for the new democratic Republic to be submitted to a national referendum.

2. Prohibit the death penalty and any act of violence or arbitrary action against any citizen, material property, or the public order and social peace.

3. Abolish the control of the Communist Party over the government and the State, as well as over the organs of State power and dissolve existing party organizations during the transition period.

4. Abolish the political police and all repressive organs of the State.

5. Dismiss from office and temporarily disqualify members of the Communist Party, senior civil administrative officials (including Ministers, Deputy Directors and Deputy Directors of State companies, Ambassadors, Extraordinary Envoys, and senior officials of the Supreme Court, the Attorney General’s Office and the Comptroller’s Office), and top officials of the ministries of the Armed Forces and Interior as well as the Police.

6. Provisionally maintain the current administrative structure of the State, replacing the leading cadres and inviting members of the armed and security forces, as well as officials and employees of the government and State institutions who have not committed serious human rights violations to remain in their posts maintaining order and security in accordance with the objectives expressed herein.

7. Remove from office those who have committed crimes against humanity such as torture, murder, forced disappearance and prevarication, or other serious violations of human rights, and refer them to judicial processes, guaranteeing their personal safety and due legal process.

8. Repeal any law, regulation, or practice that suppresses or infringes on fundamental freedoms and citizens’ rights, including those of self-determination, conscience, expression, press, information, association, meeting, movement, labor unions, privacy, and worship.

9. Legalize organizations and associations of civil society and political parties and groups that are committed to the establishment of a democratic system.

10. Guarantee the citizens free access to communications and prioritize the dismantling of state monopolies over the press, education, and communications.

11. Stimulate productivity as well as supply and access to essential goods and services — prioritizing the most vulnerable— through the enactment of urgent measures such as removing price controls prices and permitting farmers’ markets, allowing the free exercise of professions, export/import by the citizens, and those that induce economic and social development to benefit the population.

12. Unconditionally release all those detained, prosecuted, or convicted for political reasons, including those convicted for pre-criminal social dangerousness, for leaving and entering the country, and for crimes against national security (referred to by the current regime as “crimes against the integrity and stability of the Nation and against the powers of the State”).

13. Start reviewing convictions for all causes and invite international human rights organizations to inspect prisons and detention centers.

14. Allow Cubans abroad to return, including exiles and alleged “deserters” from State entities, eliminating all political charges against them and restoring their rights, including participating in the democratic process.

15. Repeal political, military, and economic agreements, as well as collaborations of all kinds with allies and enablers of the current regime, and any covenant deemed contrary to the best interests of democracy, including those granting safe harbor to foreigners linked to terrorism, drug trafficking, and other activities contrary to the national good.

16. Punish, through due process of law, anyone who destroys, hides, embezzles or misappropriates documents, funds, properties, and other assets of the State.

17. Adopt transparency rules that guarantee accountability of the provisional government.

18. Appoint a Working Group that lays the groundwork for a Truth, Justice, Memory and Reconciliation process that coordinates essential aspects of the transition including archives, victims, private property, embezzled assets, national heritage, reparations, lustration, reconciliation, and memory.

19. The enactment of laws, appointment of an official Truth, Justice, and Memory Commission, and restructuring of the governmental/state apparatus shall follow the interim period; these will be up to elected governments or as provided in a new constitution, according to the will of the people.