The dictatorships of Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela share patterns of Arbitrary Detention and Torture and ignore Regional and Universal Human Rights Protection Organizations. | Casla Institute

Madrid, March 24, 2022

The dictatorships of Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela share patterns of Arbitrary Detention and Torture and ignore Regional and Universal Human Rights Protection Organizations.

The democratic world must do more for the political prisoners of dictatorial regimes. In this opportunity, we ask for the political prisoners of the dictatorships of Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela. Each political prisoner is a story of pain and personal and family suffering, frustrated dreams, children who will not enjoy their fathers or mothers, young people who will spend most of their youth behind bars for dreaming of living in Freedom and Democracy, women and men tortured and mistreated mercilessly and with impunity.

1,442 people were arrested in Cuba as a result of the protests that took place last July, of which 756 remain in prison and at least 147 have already been sentenced, including young people as young as 16 years old, using the crime of “sedition” in most of the convictions to exemplify the punishment imposed, with sentences ranging from 10 to 20 years in prison, just for demonstrating. 179 people remain detained in Nicaragua, including former presidential candidates, political leaders, students, journalists, businessmen and members of civil society, who are accused by the Attorney General’s Office of various crimes, such as promotion of terrorist acts, conspiracy, treason and even administrative and commercial crimes

At least 270 people are detained in Venezuela for political reasons, including social leaders, members of Non-Governmental Organizations, social communicators, union leaders, young demonstrators, high, medium and low-ranking military, police and foreigners or dual nationals, generally accused of Treason, Instigation of Rebellion or Rebellion, Conspiracy or alleged “terrorist” acts.

The 3 dictatorial governments resort to the same patterns to persecute, intimidate, imprison and punish those who oppose or dissent, such as:

a) Arbitrary detentions before, during or after trial, without legal basis, in many cases with forged files and false procedures, violating the Universal Human Rights contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, without the right to a fair trial or the right to defense, because Justice in these countries is at the service of those who hold power, and even keeps political detainees imprisoned for years without having been tried or having served a sentence, as in Venezuela.

b) Torture and Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment that are applied in political prisons that do not comply with the United Nations Minimum Standards for the Treatment of Prisoners, but on the contrary, are places built or remodeled to imprison and torture especially opponents, in fetid cells, without light and natural air, where physical Torture applied at different times is complemented daily with White Torture and Psychological Torture, and the victims suffer prolonged isolation, verbal abuse, threats against their lives, and the torture known as “Deliberate Deprivation of Livelihood” is applied in a cruel way, subjecting the detainees to little or no food for days, scarce hydration where the victims survive on less than a glass of water a day, and whose consequences result in serious stomach and digestive diseases, malnutrition and loss of muscle mass, in addition to skin diseases, cardiovascular diseases, etc.. that detainees develop due to prison conditions.

Cubans Armando Sosa Fortuny, Pablo Moya Dela and Cristian Pérez have died as a result of torture and illnesses acquired in prison and the lack of timely medical attention. In Nicaragua, political prisoner Hugo Torres died due to lack of medical attention. In Venezuela, 11 political detainees have died in State custody, two of them killed directly in torture processes, others by induced psychological mistreatment, physical deterioration and lack of medical care: Rafael Acosta Arevalo and Fernando Alban, Raul Baduel, Hector Buitriago, Rodolfo Gonzalez Martinez, Carlos Andres Garcia, Rafael Arreaza Soto, Nelson Martinez, Pedro Pablo Santana Carballo, Salvador Franco and Gabriel Medina Diaz have died.

c) Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela ignore and disobey the pronouncements and resolutions of the Regional and Universal Organizations to which they belong, which demand the release of political prisoners, the cessation of repression and persecution, and respect for human rights. Decisions such as the Precautionary Measures issued by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) or those issued by the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and the Rapporteur ship against Torture of the United Nations are shamelessly flouted by these regimes, without even serving as pressure to stop torture, ill-treatment or detention, as the case may be.

In view of this, the CASLA Institute calls on the Authorities and the Representatives of the Democratic States that make up the different Regional and Universal Organizations that promote and defend Human Rights, appealing to the Responsibility they have before history, to seek real mechanisms in accordance with International Law for the Protection of Victims and to exert the necessary pressure for the release of all persons detained for political reasons in these countries.

Every political prisoner taken from a Dictatorship is a victory, a hope, an embrace and a family reunion. Freedom for all Political Prisoners!