One of the things Matt Lauer didn’t show when he was in Havana last Tuesday is this video of the wife of political prisoner Dr Oscar Elias Biscet, where she describes the conditions political prisoners face in isolation dungeons.
Two years ago I translated the video, as follows:
In the video, Dr. Biscet’s wife, Elsa Morejon, explains (at great risk to herself) that this is a full-scale replica of the dungeon in which Dr. Biscet was imprisoned, “despite the fact that Cuba has signed international agreements and rules on prisoner treatment”.
Ms Morejon points to a piece of paper with her husband’s words on the front wall of the dungeon. Dr. Biscet spent the months of November and December, 2004, including New Year’s Eve, in a dungeon like it. She points to the narrow slot on the door, for delivery of food, and in some dungeons the slots are positioned at different heights. “There are no windows, no lights since for a while he didn’t have a light bulb, no ventilation, in Cuba, a country with very high temperatures”.
Inside the dungeon she points to a pipe for water, a hole for latrine. She shows the actual shoes he owned during that period, and how the leather rotted. She lists the meager possessions a prisoner is allowed: underwear, a towel, a sheet, toothpaste, cup, toothbrush, soap, deodorant, sometimes prisoners are allowed to have their Bible with them. No bed is provided. The prisoner sleeps on the floor, and “sometimes they are brought a filthy mattress at 10PM”.
The food they are given is unfit for human consumption.
Ms Morejon asks, “We ask the world to intercede and ask Cuba to set my husband free. He’s a man who loves God and justice, who believes in non-violence, and shouldn’t be there [in prison], because all he’s asked for is to live in democracy in his own country”.
Notice how they didn’t show the video at the Princeton Human Rights Film Festival, either.