The prison is located approximately 100 kilometres from Havana, between a landfill and sugar cane fields. The prison consists of four one-story-buildings made of reinforced concretes. Each building is occupied by a minimum of 90 prisoners with double bunk beds, made of simple iron bars bed supports, the mattresses are five centimetres thick, mouldy, dirty, smelly and very old. There are approximately eight fans, often out of service or in very poor condition. They are systematically turned off from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
The buildings have four cold water showers running only a few hours a day. There are just three toilets and two urinals for 90 people, power and water supplies are constantly interrupted, sometimes for several days or weeks.
Finally, there are epidemics of all kinds, the prison has been quarantined several times. The only medication available is ‘drinking much water and resting’… Last precision: the buildings are infested with hundreds of mice, rats, cockroaches, and thousands of scorpions, tarantulas, mosquitoes and black flies.
• 6:00 a.m. – Bed must be made. Wearing a uniform and standing at attention.
• 6:15 a.m. – End of inspection.
• 7:15 a.m. – Breakfast. A drink (a kind of tea made with the fruits of a local tree), a piece of bread about ten grams, dry and hard.
• 8:00 a.m. – Marching to the field, in a single line, hands placed behind your back, we have to wait beforehand in a row under full sun for about fifteen minutes.
There is no sitting space on this ground. If a prisoner wishes to sit, he/she will have to buy a plastic chair and negotiate with prison management for this privilege. This field only has a tiny space with a 6m x 2m size roof to protect from the sun. Caps and sunglasses are prohibited.
• 10:30 a.m. – Return to the building.
• 11:45 a.m. – Meal in the refectory. One is punished if meal time exceeds five minutes. The menu is the same every day: rice (about a bowl, always badly cooked, dirty and with worms and other insects), sometimes a spoonful of red beans or chickpeas. Twice a month, a 30-gram piece of bonny chicken. Once a month, a 30-gram piece of pork. The rest of the time, soya bean porridge (two tablespoons) and a soup akin to hot salty water with a few grains of rice with plenty of dead black flies.
• 1:00 p.m. – Field
• 4:00 p.m. – Building
• 5:15 p.m. – Last meal (same as lunch).
• 5:45 p.m. – Preparation for the 6:00 p.m. inspection.
• 6:00 p.m. – Same inspection as in the morning.
• 10:00 p.m. – Inspection
• 11:00 p.m. – Lights out
• 1:00 a.m. – Noisy routine checks by warders
• 3:30 a.m. – Noisy routine checks by warders
You can be hit at any time by several warders and placed in isolation for about 20, 30 or 40 days without reason. In general, the humiliation is constant.
The prison is repainted in and out twice a year. Prisoners are to buy the paint and brushes to be used and are obliged to work from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
During the biannual departmental ‘anniversaries’, the prisoners cater for all the expenses involved. The warders and the prison management eat three quarter of the food bought. Videos are frequently recorded just to show the good side of life in the prison to embassies. Relatives of prisoners are often maltreated, humiliated, threatened and even arrested sometimes.