14ymedio, Madrid, 12 January 2023 — More than 11,000 people in Cuba have “pre-criminal” convictions, that is, punishment without having committed any crime, nor even attempted one. It is one of the data points that stands out from the latest report by the organization Prisoners Defenders (PD), made public this Thursday and which, once again, confirms the deplorable state of human rights on the Island.
Those thousands of convicts – “the vast majority of them are young and black,” emphasizes the Madrid-based NGO – are convicted based on article 72 of the Penal Code, in force until November, which provides for penalties “for conduct that is observed in manifest contradiction with the norms of socialist morality.” This, denounces PD, survives in the new Criminal Code, in force since December 1, in article 434: “The competent authority of the Ministry of the Interior can officially warn anyone who repeatedly performs actions that make them prone to committing crimes or break the social and constitutional order.”
Every year, says the organization, an average of 3,850 people are sentenced to from 1 to 4 years in prison for this cause. “The mere report by the police authorities indicating ’inappropriate conduct’ allows, without any crime, summary imprisonment year after year for immediate decisions and without possible defense,” the report asserted.
The NGO registers 29 new political prisoners, “mainly in the protests that take place throughout the country, but also due to the persecution of their social networks and positions disaffected with the criminal regime in Havana.” With these, the total number of prisoners of conscience, as of the last day of 2022, was 1,057. Six came off of that list in December, some after fully served the sanction imposed, and others, for having fled the country during their prosecution.
Prisoners Defenders laments that 36 minors (31 males and 5 females) are still on the list, who are either still serving their sentence (27) or are being criminally prosecuted (9). The figure does not include “many other children” who have already left the list for having fully served their sentences, clarifies the NGO.
Prisoners Defenders dedicates space to the unstoppable exodus, “the largest recorded in the entire modern history of Cuba,” with “between 225,000 and 300,000 Cubans (close to 3% of the population in 12 months)” who have fled to different countries of the world, the vast majority of them to the United States.
The report also criticizes the regime for its “criminal alliances”: “Lacking the ideological or moral support to justify raids and barbarities against human rights, international relations and the search for illegal income lead Cuba to inevitably strengthen the bloc’s dependence on the world’s totalitarians, now led by several countries, including Russia and Iran”.
Equally, it dedicates words to the “high personalities and references of the Spanish left,” such as the artists Joaquín Sabina or Joan Manuel Serrat, who have criticized the Government of Havana in recent months, as “some of the many symptoms of ideological dismantling of a regime that has lost all ideological or moral credibility for the true European and world left.”
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