Lowered Faces

Image: Abstract Painting; photograph taken by Luis Ena Bessa.

The authorities of Havana, through their hard work of selling a splendid image of Cuban prisons to the outside world, have announced the reduction of two more months of sanctions but with an extraordinary amount of hypocrisy.

One must have an “exceptional” conduct. The accused have manifested their total disagreement, not because of the advantage of reducing sanctions to 60 days, but because of the fact that they practically must be cadets. The curious thing is that the functionaries of the Order of the Interior, in compliance with their regime, apply disciplinary measures to the prisoners without even telling them first- that’s to say that, the convict finds out that a report was made about them, when the time comes to reduce the sanction, without knowing who the functionary who placed the report was.

And many prisoners are unjustly sanctioned but many guards, upon knowing their names, comply with the commands of their chiefs. Also, the additional reduction of the sanction, for exceptional conduct and relevant results in the educational programs, in article 108.1, the accused should have extinguished one year of freedom in prison and have advanced to a higher level.

Also, when the prisoner has, in exemplary fashion, complied with the requirements of the prison regime, obtaining the category of distinguished in all the accumulated periods and having actively participated in the educational programs with an evaluation of outstanding in scholarly courses, capacitating of jobs, contributing with production and also with the rest of the cultural, artistic, and athletic activities that take in the prison in which they are located.

In addition to this is that in article 109, the proposition of a reduced sanction is approved by the council of direction and the provincial chiefs of the penitentiary system. Like the recluses say, “we have to be cadets”. In the Provincial Prison of Canaleta, Ciego de Avila, the average of the fortune is so low that with the two additional months it is impossible to draw up a percentage.

In fact, the university professors and the students of physical culture that have already achieved their bachelors could easily lose their 60 days in question.

Pablo Pacheco, prisoner of conscience, Canaleta prison, Ciego de Avila, Cuba.


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