In a statement issued last week, the Christian Liberation Movement, which works for the recognition of human rights in Cuba, praised the decision of President Barack Obama to close the U.S. prison camp at Guantanamo, but noted that another prison in the same region of the island where hundreds of prisoners of conscience languish should not be forgotten.
"On previous occasions," the statement said, "we have expressed our position against the existence of [the U.S.] prison on Cuban soil," but "it is essential that we remember that a few kilometers from there, the horrible provincial Prison of Guantanamo is located. It is there that the government of Cuba has incarcerated and still holds Cuban citizens in inhumane conditions who were unjustly condemned for freely speaking, writing or collecting signatures for the Varela Project."
The CLM noted that there are still more than 200 prisoners of conscience in Cuba, and denounced "the hypocrisy of those who (rightly) condemn the prison camp at Guantanamo but consciously forget about the imprisonment of defenders of human rights at the other Guantanamo which is all Cuban prisoners."
The statement then recalled that at the Cuban prison of Guantanamo, the inmates include Jesus Mustafa Felipe, "who in 2003 was sentenced to an arbitrary condemnation of 18 months, and one day without any warning, he was taken from his cell, put on trial without legal representation and sentenced to another 25 years."