During their joint press conference on Monday, Presidents Obama and Castro took questions from journalists. When CNN’s Jim Acosta, himself the son of a Cuban immigrant, asked President Castro about Cuba’s political prisoners, Castro’s response was, “Give me a name or names, and if there are political prisoners, they will be released tonight.”
The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation has the names.
Our list of 51 prisoners is regrettably not exhaustive—the number of Cuban political prisoners held today is thought to be more than 100. But that number tripled the day before President Obama arrived in Cuba. These “Forgotten 51” prisoners of conscience include political dissidents, former Communist Party loyalists, the son of a Christian jailed by the government in their attempt to coerce his mother to become an informant, and a rap artist declared to be a “danger to society.” The families of the “Forgotten 51” are kept in the dark about the legal status and the health of those unjustly imprisoned. Most have been detained without notice of the crimes for which they are charged. A fair defense is nonexistent in Cuba’s authoritarian political system.
For more information or to schedule a press interview please contact Ayla Ybarra at [email protected] or (202) 629-9500.