With a hardly six-month interval, two lapidary documents have been published to narrate, respectively, the bloodthirsty nature of the Venezuelan regime and the participation of officials from the Cuban Ministry of Interior in the organization and perpetration of tortures in that country.
As an example we reproduce paragraphs from each of them.
Excerpts from the Report to the United Nations Human Rights Council, September 2020, by the International Fact-Verification Mission of said body on human rights violations in Venezuela:
- Between January 1, 2014 and July 15, 2020, the NGO Foro Penal recorded 3,479 cases of arrests for political reasons.
- The (United Nations) Mission found reasonable grounds to believe that SEBIN agents tortured or subjected detainees to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.
- Among the torture techniques that the Mission documented were stressful positions; suffocation with plastic bags, chemicals, or water; beatings; electric shocks; death threats; threats of rape against the victim and / or their family; psychological torture, including sensory deprivation, constant lighting, and extreme cold; and forced nudity.
- In seven investigated cases, SEBIN agents perpetrated acts of sexual or gender-based violence against detainees in an attempt to obtain confessions or information that implicated others, or to degrade, humiliate or punish them.
Excerpts from the Casla Institute Report, February 2020, presented to the Organization of American States:
- Militiamen of the Cuban G2 and Grupo Gruce, would be directly involved in the commission of the crime of torture in Venezuela. They are known by the nickname given by the Venezuelan military and officials as “the Islanders” and would have their own operations room in the Military Fort called “Fuerte Tiuna”, in Caracas, from where they organize, together with the Minister of Defense and the CEOFANB, the planning of actions to be taken throughout the national territory.
- On December 28, 2018, the CASLA Institute reported to the ICC the participation of Cuban officials and intelligence officers in the planning and commission of the crime of torture, after having obtained at least 12 direct testimonies from victims who reported their presence when they were being tortured in different centers where they were held in detention, whether officially or clandestinely.
- The CASLA Institute obtained as a scoop, the testimony of Lieutenant Ronald Dugarte Silva, attached to the DGCIM, who defected in March of this year. Dugarte gave us videos about the torture rooms located in the basements of said intelligence organization in Caracas, and also narrated, both for the ICC and for the press conference that the CASLA Institute held jointly with the OAS GS that month, how the Cubans were directly involved in both the training and the repression and torture of Venezuelans.
- The drilling of nails in the hands and feet to pass the wires for electric shocks, the systematic use of plastic bags to suffocate the tortured, hanging from cranes without touching the floor during interrogations, injuries to the genitals when inflicting sexual violence or intoxication with unknown psychotropic substances are some examples of the cruelty that the presence of the so-called “Islanders” has contributed to the leadership of the repressive apparatus.
- The CASLA Institute has obtained testimonies from former intelligence officials and deserters from these bodies, as well as from Venezuelan military and civilians who have indicated to us how the Cuban regime participates in the induction of repression. The head that organizes, controls and knows everything about who they are, how many arrive, what they do and how they participate, is that country’s Ambassador ( Dagoberto Rodríguez Barrera). Nothing happens without his knowledge. The Cubans constantly instruct members of the FANB and intelligence on techniques of repression, intimidation and monitoring, so that they carry out investigative missions and spy on their own colleagues and their families, political and social leaders and directly follow up on social unrest.
The truth is that beyond the direct presence of MININT officials in the torture dungeons of Maduro’s henchmen, what is relevant is that Raúl Castro – knowing perfectly well what happens in those torture centers – has committed dozens of thousands of Cubans from the Armed Forces, MININT, Public Health and other Cuban institutions to directly participate in maintaining this regime of horror. He has smeared them all with blood and shame.
In a future, but increasingly closer, time, the children and grandchildren of these fierce “internationalists” will ask their relatives if they never knew anything. “Tell me, grandpa, did you advise them in Venezuela to apply the electric prod? Did you give them instructions on how to use snipers to assassinate civilian protesters who disagreed with their government? ”
Nor is it too imaginative to suppose that Venezuelans and Cubans will demand accountability, in a not too distant future, from this new species of henchmen that the Cuban-Venezuelan mafia has given birth to. That this is impossible to happen is the same as was assumed by the perpetrators of the Nazi horror and the Romanian or Latin American dictatorships. Their fate was the scaffold or to die in prison.
Crimes against humanity – and torture is one of them – such as those described in these reports do not expire. When the perpetrators are about to turn 100, they can be taken to court if they are still alive.
Those who bet on the fact that Cuba has been under a totalitarian regime for more than six decades must not forget that the USSR – the second nuclear power on the planet – collapsed after more than seven decades. And its bureaucrats and military never imagined this was possible.