Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Nestor Rodriguez Lobaina calls on dictatorship in Cuba to be expelled from the UN Human Rights Council


Human Rights Council UN
Nineteenth section from February to March 2012

Thank you Madam President:

On behalf of the Centrist Democrat International, I come to give my testimony. I am Nestor Rodriguez Lobaina, former Cuban prisoner of conscience and survivor of the prisons of the totalitarian regime.

I served 10 years and 5 months in prison for opposing the violation of rights of expression, association and movement in my country. I suffered torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment in the prison of Guantanamo. In 1999, I was subjected to a mock execution by state security officials in the Sierra Maestra. I suffered fractures to two bones in my face in the summer of 2001, an attack carried out by a common offender under the orders of Colonel Juan Gonzales, chief of operations at Guantanamo and Lt. Col. Jorge Chediak, head of the prison. I was confined three years and six months in solitary confinement and punishment cells including 47 days without clothes and in inhumane conditions in a dark cell. I spent 8 months and 20 days with common criminals with tuberculosis. On many occasions I had to resort to hunger strikes to demand my rights. The last time was in January 2011 when exile or facing penalties of 12 years in prison were imposed on me

My case is not an isolated one. There exists a system of annihilation against those who dare to ask for changes. In the past year, three human rights defenders were killed by that system: Juan Wilfredo Soto García, beaten to death by two police in Santa Clara on May 8, 2011. Laura Pollán Toledo, leader of the Ladies in White dies under suspicious circumstances on October 14, 2011 and Wilman Villar Mendosa, dies on strike hungry after being confined in a cell with no water, no clothes, causing pneumonia and kidney failure on January 19, 2012.

So far this year, there are more than a thousand arbitrary arrests. The brutal beatings and sexual assaults against women human rights defenders are multiplied by days. The houses of the opponents are attacked by mobs directed by the regime endangering the lives of women and children.

Mr. President, the dictatorship in Cuba must be expelled from the Council because it does not fulfill the commitments it made to join it.

Thank you very much.

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