To be imprisoned in Canaleta


Image: Claude Monet

During the night of June 16, the inmates of Canaleta Prison in Ciego de Ávila began a massive protest because there was no water to bathe in, let alone to drink. In addition, most of them had spent the whole day of terrible heat without access to the telephone, and they were banned from watching television from 10 am until 6 pm – a new regulation from the Ministry of the Interior.

Around 10 pm, you could hear catcalls and hisses, accompanied by shouts of WATER, WATER, WATER. In our division things worsened when the prisoners asked Despaine, the functionary in charge, about the absence of the precious liquid. And he continued walking, turning his back on them, a kind of blackmail.

Twenty minutes later, Captain Alberto, two other high-ranking officials, and two other functionaries arrived. The soldiers immediately explained that as a result of a shortage of electricity on the national network, the turbine that supplied the water was not on, and that only when the electricity was back would the water situation would be resolved.

The angry prisoners continued to complain from one military bureaucrat to another. Finally the water returned to our section at 12:25 am There are more than 1,200 inmates in Canaleta prison, and they remained without electricity and water for more than 17 straight hours.

Pablo Pacheco


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