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Shock Report: Cuba is an Orwellian Nightmare

John on November 19, 2009 at 7:30 am

From the Guardian:

The Cuban president, Raúl Castro, has crushed dissent and continued repression in the country since taking over from his brother Fidel, according to a Human Rights Watch report published today.

Didn’t I recently see images of Cuba in Michael Moore’s movie Sicko? He ridiculed the idea that it was a horrible place. Here’s a clip. Scroll in to about 2:40.

The report, New Castro, Same Cuba, paints a near-dystopian image of an island where those who step out of line risk being beaten and jailed in horrific conditions which verge on torture.

That can’t be right. They have great health care and stuff.

The government has extended use of an “Orwellian” law that allows the state to punish people before they commit a crime on suspicion they may do so…

“The most Orwellian of Cuba’s laws, it captures the essence of the Cuban government’s repressive mindset, which views anyone who acts out of step with the government as a potential threat and thus worthy of punishment,” the report said. It documented more than 40 cases in which individuals were jailed for “dangerousness”, including such things as handing out copies of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, staging rallies, writing articles critical of the government, and trying to organise independent unions.

Portraying rallies and speech critical of the government as “dangerous.” Sort of like MSNBC’s treatment of the tea parties?

Jails were overcrowded, unhygienic and unhealthy, leading to extensive malnutrition and illness, the report said, and political prisoners were routinely subjected to extended solitary confinement, beatings, restrictions of visits and the denial of medical care. “Taken together, these forms of cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment may rise to the level of torture.”

How many prisoners in Cuba can only wish they were in Gitmo?

Although Obama has eased some restrictions, he has pledged to maintain the embargo to keep pressure on Raúl Castro, Fidel’s brother and successor.

Something tells me his heart isn’t in it though.

In June, in a move symbolic of the thaw, the US shut off an electronic billboard outside the office looking after its interests in Havana. It had irked the Castro government with pro-Democracy news and messages.

Trying not to “irk” tyrants who brutally repress the rights of their own citizens…now that sounds more like the Barack Obama I’ve come to know.

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Category: Foreign Affairs |

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