I have not had the misfortune to see with my own eyes the prison that is at the Guantanamo Naval Base, I just have a vision of it from the images that show on Cuban television. I cannot explain how similar or different the penitentiary conditions are between that prison and those I myself have had to know, including the treatment of inmates, especially those who claim their civil rights through a hunger strike. However, I need to explain in a few words the scene where I have been for more than 25 months.
In a cell of 117 square feet, where 9 of us live together, sewage falls from the upper floors; we have to hang nylon attached to the concrete by soap chips, to avoid it falling on our beds. On the walls, such as the one next to me, I must separate my bunk from the filthy water, just a little because there is no space; the stink is permanent. Most of the time we are locked in; when you go to the television area, you find a bucket whose job is to store the urine of anyone who has the need; the place stinks like a public bathroom that hasn’t been cleaned in months.
Contrary to what is written at the entrance to the prison, the violation of our civil rights is constant. For demanding a civil right you can be severely reprimanded. We are victims of the cruelty of the officials. I myself was beaten by an officer and then after the doctor issues a medical certificate for the wounds, when my sister took the opportunity to look at it to memorize the doctor’s (Carlos Martinez Ballestar) information, it still went unpunished because the military prosecutor alleged that the doctor had lied. Believe me, it is difficult to write.
The large concentration camp holds hundreds of innocent men and thousands of extreme sentences relative to the fault committed, but the suffering will end, through our capacity to grow stronger, those inside and those outside. We always remember the words of Abraham Lincoln: “When the government deprives any group of their rights, then the rights of all people are in jeopardy.”