Cuba: 4 new Convicted of Conscience

Prisoners Defenders

Cuban Prisoners Defenders Report, October 1, 2019:


  • The September 1, 2019 list of Cuban Prisoners Defenders casts 125 political convicts as opposed to the regime.
  • 15 opponents of the list have already been named Prisoners of Conscience by Amnesty International, 5 of them last August and another in September, Roberto de Jesús Quiñones Haces.
  • More than 10,000 Cubans civilians, not affiliated with opposition organizations, are currently convicted of “pre-criminal” accusations, without associated crime, for their disaffection and critical status with the system.

Political prisoners recognized in opposition to the Castro regime: August 1, 2019

We recognize in CPD, as of October 1, 2019, 125 political convicts by opposition to the regime, in addition to another 10,000 convictions against civilians not belonging to opposition organizations for charges referred to in the Criminal Code as “pre-criminal”, about which we discuss in section 2 of this press release.

The 125 condemned among opposition organizations are divided into Convicts of Conscience, Condemned of Conscience and Political Prisoners of other categories. The classification of these is as follows:

Convicts of Conscience

74 Convicts of Conscience, that are prisoners deprived of liberty solely for reasons of conscience, with accusations either completely and proven false or fabricated, or of a non-criminal nature and absolutely of thought. 5 of them have been named Prisoners of Conscience by Amnesty International on August 27, indicating this organization that they have only issued an opinion on a sample of the 71 Convicts of Conscience of Prisoners Defenders, but giving credit that the rest could also be given the result of the sample. The five are Josiel Guía Piloto (PRC), Mitsael Díaz Paseiro (FNRC-OZT), Silverio Portal Contreras (previously linked to various organizations but now independent), Edilberto Ronal Arzuaga Alcalá (UNPACU), Eliécer Bandera Barreras (UNPACU) and Roberto de Jesús Quiñones Haces (lawyer and independent journalist).

This month there were 4 convicts who entered prison:

  • Glenda Lobaina Pérez (UNPACU), relocated in prison from home sanction, now is convicted again. She is yet another example that the Condemned of Conscience in the home regime live the constant threat of returning to prison. Every month we find that people on that list become Convicts, so that is the reason the Condemned of Conscience’s list is radically important to be kept updated and reported.
  • Ovidio Martin Castellanos (UNPACU). He is co-founder and leader of said organization since its inception. On September 7, special forces, which only attend Raul Castro’s direct orders, assaulted his house with great violence, stealing all kinds of personal objects for domestic use. There they arrested Ovidio, Erlandys García, Sergio García González, Duglas Favier Torres and Ricardo Martinez Cuevas, to prevent them from attending the sunflowers demonstration, which has already become a symbol in Cuba since those days. All violence was also been perpetrated in the presence of Ovidio’s wife, Zenaida Rams Santana, pregnant in advanced state, and two young children, who suffered from panic in the assault. Police officers took a printer and diverse documentation related to the studies of political prisoners on the island, and pro-democracy brochures.
  • Roberto de Jesùs Quiñones Haces, freelance journalist and lawyer. On September 11, he was imprisoned for reporting on the case of Ayda Expósito Leiva and Ramón Rigal Rodríguez, a Christian marriage whose crime to be in prison sentenced to 2 years and 1 year and a half, respectively, was to do homeschooling with their children (give them primary studies in their homes avoiding state schools) to escape from the indoctrination of Castro’s schools. For overwhelming evidence in his favor, he was appointed Prisoner of Conscience by Amnesty International.
  • Alexander Roll Gilbert, jailed “preventively” on September 6 for a false accusation of firing with a firearm. The knowledge of the accusation to which Prisoners Defenders has had access allows us to ensure that it is false. The sentence is pending.

Among those convicted of conscience are 4 inmates for whom the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has granted Precautionary Measures of International Protection: Iván Amaro Hidalgo, Josiel Guía Piloto, Jesús Alfredo Pérez Rivas and Edilberto Ronal Arzuaga Alcalá. Another 2 Convicts of Conscience and one Condemned of Conscience are being monitored and defended by the United Nations Arbitrary Detention Working Group. They are Iván Amaro Hidalgo, Josiel Guía Piloto, and the Condemned of Conscience who spent more than a year in prison and is now under domicile under threats, Marbel Mendoza Reyes. Another 6 cases are being processed to be worked by said Group, following the evidence of a repressive escalation in Cuba that stands out with respect to previous periods.

Condemned of Conscience

21 Condemned of Conscience, that they are condemned who suffer forced domiciliary work, measures of limitation of freedom or parole under threats, and that the regime, in addition, usually revokes and reinserts in prison if the activist does not cease in his pro-democratic activity. Such is the case of the revocation and deprivation of liberty of Cristian Pérez Carmenate last month, for example, or Glenda Lobaina Pérez this September. We reiterate the threats that these condemned activists suffer, which is why it is surprisingly common for them to go back to prison after obtaining extra-prison measures, unless they submit to the political and conscientious dictates of the authorities.

Other political prisoners

30 other political prisoners, not in the previous categories, in which there have been no releases or premature pardons, and among those are the highest sentences and prisoners with longer periods of sentences served in the jails of the Cuban regime.

The complete list can be obtained in this link:

10 thousand prisoners of conscience for convictions named in the Criminal Code as “pre-criminal”

Prisoners Defenders also recognizes 10 thousand people who are Convicted or Condemned of Conscience for Pre-Criminal Security Measures, with penalties of 1 to 4 years. This figure was obtained by interpolation of two methods. On the one hand, two prisons have been censored and the percentage of these sentences established, and on the other hand the information has been confirmed with an internal source of the highest level of the regime.

“Nazi” measure, or fascist, that portrays the Castro regime

We reiterate that this measure of the Criminal Code of 1979 is fascist, not socialist, since it originates from the fascist laws, in textual form, of the dictators Hitler and Franco. Written down are the evidences:

  • Pre-criminal convictions for antisocials are inspired by those present in Nazi Germany, paragraph 42 of the Third Reich Criminal Code of 1937, calling offenders volksschädling (antisocial), a categorization that included, among others, prostitutes, homosexuals, beggars, mentally ill people, repeaters of jokes and comments against the Nazis, but especially those they called «lazy.»
  • The Cuban law is a copy, textual in terminologies, and exact extracted sentences, to several Spanish laws, such as the «law of lazy people», «La Gandula», which was a law of the Spanish Criminal Order of August 4, 1933 approved by the Courts of the Second Republic, signed by Manuel Azaña as President of the Council of Ministers, and which was highly reinforced by the dictator Francisco Franco in 1954 and then in 1970 with the «law on dangerousness and social rehabilitation», where in all they establish the terms «social dangerousness», or «security measures», exact terms and copied in the law of Cuba. The dictator Franco had the initiative to include homosexuals in the law.

Previously in Cuba other measures were antecedents of the Criminal Code of 1979. The evolution of the Nazi and fascist copy is evident. In Cuba, before the «law on danger and social rehabilitation» the » law of lazy people» was taken as a model to inspire the “Cuban Vague Law”. Later in 1979, they took the terminologies of the «law on dangerousness and social rehabilitation» from the dictator Franco.

Also the harassment of homosexuals was inspired by Cuba in the initiatives of the dictator Franco. The Military Production Aid Units (UMAP), for example, were labor camps that existed in Cuba between 1965 and 1968. There were about 25,000 men, basically young men of military age who for various reasons refused to do military service mandatory (members of some religions), were rejected in the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Cuba or, above all, for their proven or alleged homosexuality «bourgeois», and they had to be «re-educated» by the revolutionary government. Simply disgusting. As are the words of Raúl Castro, then minister of the Revolutionary Armed Forces, in April 1966:

«In the first group of colleagues who have been part of the UMAP were included some young people who had not had the best behavior in life, young people who had taken a wrong path to society because of the bad training and influence of the environment and had been incorporated in order to help them find a successful path that allows them to join society fully»

Raúl Castro, April 1966, [1]

These words, together with the indescribable suffering of such people in these UMAPs, leave no doubt about the deep sociopathic and fascist personality that Raúl Castro suffered since 1966.

The Law of the Vague, or «Law against laziness», Law No. 1231 of March 16, 1971 published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Cuba in its ordinary edition of March 26, 1971, was a law similar to the pre-criminal, in fact, was its predecessor, and was established to solve a problem inherent in the legal and labor vacuum created by the dictatorship itself at the beginning. This law was repealed and replaced by the current Criminal Code of Cuba, which includes pre-criminal law, on February 15, 1979.

The Law of Vagrancy, or Law of the Vague, was born because the intervention of all private businesses by the revolution abruptly changed the order of things. The intervening forces came in the name of the «people» to appropriate the business and all its assets. The excuse was that business was left to the «people.» The problem was immediate: who would be responsible for everything to continue to work? Who had the knowledge and commitment to do so with adequate business knowledge and motivation?

Since nobody planned it, the results were catastrophic for productivity. Some of the workers kept jobs, which in number were diminishing day by day given the low productivity, but the owners were immediately unemployed. What would this people do, used to leading projects, that had also been stripped of their work without even having the right to manifest without disagreement? The State’s creative solution was that they had to work for the revolution or else they had to be applied the «Law of the Lazy.» Thus, the former entrepreneurs became defined as «lazy» if they refused to work in favor of the «revolutionary» State.

With coercive measures, therefore, the slavery of Cuban professionals began at the dawn of the «revolution», slavery that prevails in the Cuban medical missions, but also with all qualified Cuban professionals on and off the island, including the artists who work on behalf of the State.

By this Law against laziness of 1971 thousands of people were forced to perform heavy manual labor that none of them wanted to do. The composition of the group that the authorities considered «lazy» was finally applied to a mass of very heterogeneous people. There were those who, for various reasons, had been unemployed for a long time, such as the aforementioned entrepreneurs. Also affected were some who were caught in transit from one occupation to another, those who were leaving the country, or those who had just finished Compulsory Military Service and had no work location. It was the beginning of the 70s and Cuba already had a massive slavery law in a society that was just 10 years before of an entrepreneurial nature.

Once in the labor camps, the subjects were considered prisoners: anyone who left the place without authorization would be arrested, tried and sentenced to serve up to five years in prison.

The law fundamentally considers laziness as a pre-criminal state and so that state is clearly determined. An interesting study of this Law, and from which we have taken some references, among many other sources, can be read in this link.

Current situation

These measures, up to 4 years in prison, are applied through articles of the Criminal Code that are infamous and violate the most basic principles of justice adopted by the entire International Community and explicitly prohibited in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. These items are:

“ARTICLE 72. The special proclivity in which a person is found to commit crimes is considered a dangerous state, demonstrated by the behavior observed in manifest contradiction with the norms of socialist morality.

ARTICLE 76. 1. Security measures may be decreed to prevent the commission of crimes or on the occasion of their commission. In the first case they are called pre-criminal security measures, and in the second, post-criminal security measures.

ARTICLE 78. To the declared in dangerous state in the corresponding process, the pre-criminal security measure can be imposed

ARTICLE 80. 1. Reeducational measures are: a) internment in a specialized work or study establishment [prison]; b) delivery to a work group, for the control and orientation of the subject’s behavior in a dangerous state. 2. Reeducational measures apply to antisocial individuals. 3. The term of these measures is one year minimum and four maximum. ”

The legitimacy for the application of the previous precepts is determined arbitrarily according to the criteria of the judges and without ordinary criminal proceedings with the right to defense, summarily, according to the provisions of the Law of Criminal Procedure of Cuba, in its Article 404 and in its article 415, where it expressly indicates the summary process:

‘’ARTICLE 404. It is the responsibility of the Popular Municipal Courts to know the Pre-criminal Danger Indices and the imposition of security measures established in each case by the substantive Criminal Law. ’’

«ARTICLE 415. The declaration of the index of pre-criminal danger of antisocial conduct, is summarily decided …»

The police, without the intervention of the prosecutor, can arrest and imprison citizens. Subsequently, the prosecutor can prolong the detention without the intervention of the judge many days.

When the judges intervene, the system does not improve in any way, otherwise there would be no more than 10,000 convicted in Cuba for the “Pre-criminal Security Measures”. The judges, whose dependence on the government of the State is absolute, and without judicial independence, are mere links in a chain of servitude that does not slow down the process at all, and rather dedicate themselves to judicially laundering this crime against humanity by arbitrary detentions.

Even Spanish Law, in its aberration also, was more «benevolent», by introducing the defendant’s audience factor with the judge before executing such «security measures.» Castroism is more «Nazi», or fascist, therefore, than the Franco’s background regarding this law.

Analysis on the duration and nature of the sentences

Regarding the duration of the sentences in force as of September 1, 2019, we see how the average of sentences in the Convicts of Conscience is located in the 3 years and 4 months, 4 less than in the previous month, being the standard deviation of the series of sentences of 1 year and 7 months.

The slightest pro-democratic activism in Cuba is being paid, therefore on average and usually, with sentences of 3 years and 4 months imprisonment:

As for political prisoners who cannot be considered conscientious (third section of the list of Prisoners Defenders) solely for having attended other circumstances in their acts (the purely political condemnation caused timely overlapped with another accusation of common type, usually of low criminal entity), 30 cases, the sentences are distributed in a more radical way, the most usual being life imprisonment:

More than 73% of the political convictions of this group of 30 prisoners, in which there has been an aggravating crime in the events of opposition to the system and that cannot be framed exclusively in the context of “conscience”, have penalties over 20 years.

Knowledgeable of the application of these terrible sentences, that is why the opposition in Cuba is only peaceful and verbal. There is no possibility of obtaining sentences under 20 years when the activist makes the mistake of performing any act contrary to the criminal code on a crime considered common, and that is why the opposition is almost completely framed in a peaceful and conscientious action.

Even so, along with Amnesty International, Prisoners Defenders has shown that the Cuban government imputes common crimes that are proven to be false to peaceful human rights activists.

Therefore, PD is making human rights organizations validate as cases of conscience penalties in which the regime falsely attributes violent attitudes to prominent members of peaceful opposition organizations, since the causes, once analyzed, are unlikely and legally unsustainable.

Most representative pacific organizations

As for the organizations to which the convicted and/or condemned of conscience activists belong, the most prominent group is the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU), with 52 pacific activists of conscience, convicted or condemned by belonging to that organization, [2] 55% of the total censored in Cuba by CPD, number that is higher in two persons more than last month for this organization and that continues to grow without appearing to have a roof: [3]

About Cuban Prisoners Defenders

Cuban Prisoners Defenders is an independent group of analysis, study and action, with the collaboration of all dissident groups on the island and the families of political prisoners to gather information and promote the freedom of all political prisoners, as well as to maintain the updated weekly lists of Convicted of Conscience, Condemned of Conscience,, Political Prisoners and Long-lasting political prisoners imprisoned. Cuban Prisoners Defenders is part of the Prisoners Defenders International Network, a legally registered association based in Madrid, Spain, and whose Internet address is

The group from Cuba is coordinated by Iván Hernández Carrillo (ASIC), Adolfo Fernández Sainz (FNCA) and Javier Larrondo (UNPACU), without these organizations controlling to any degree, allowing a dedicated work to all political prisoners without distinctions and equally. In Madrid’s office, the legal reports have the contribution of another one of the founders of Cuban Prisoners Defenders, the international criminal lawyer Mr. Sebastián Rivero, who, among other experiences, has been a collaborating jurist of the Permanent Ambassador of Spain at the United Nations. The organization also has different patrons from all ideologies, among others several deputies of the National Congress of Spain of different parties, as well as D. Blas Jesús Imbroda, president of the International Criminal Bar (ICB, elected in 2017) and Dean of the Bar Association of Melilla, Spain.

The works of Cuban Prisoners Defenders are adopted by numerous institutions and are sent, among others, to CANF, UNPACU, ASIC, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Organization of American States, European Parliament, Congress and Senate of the United States, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Spain, People In Need, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights of the UN for Latin America and the Caribbean, Real Instituto Elcano, Fundación Transición Española, International Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights, FANTU, Party for Democracy Pedro Luis Boitel, Independent Pedagogues College of Cuba, Freedom House, Center for the Opening and Development of Latin America (CADAL), FAES, Ladies in White y Citizen Movement Reflection and Reconciliation, among many other institutions and organizations.

REQUEST FOR REPORTS: Entities wishing to receive the work of Cuban Prisoners Defenders (list of political prisoners and of conscience, legal studies of political prisoners, legal studies on Cuba, studies on repression and prisons in Cuba, etc) please contact Cuban Prisoners Defenders at or by whatsapp or phone at +34 647564741.           

Our official Twitter, in addition, is @CubanDefenders. Our Facebook page is, and our website is

[1] Mapa de la homofobia. Cronología de la represión y censura a homosexuales, travestis y transexuales en la Isla, desde 1962 hasta la fecha:

[2] One of the activists convicted by belonging to UNPACU was expelled from this organization for collaborating with the political police once inside the prison.

[3] On the total of the Convicts of Conscience and the Condemned of Conscience censored. That is, 95 = 71 + 24.

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