On Sunday, the Cuban political prisoner Luis Barrios Diaz passed away at the La Covadonga hospital in Havana due to neglect by the prison authorities. The Cuban Observatory of Human Rights (OCDH), an NGO located in Madrid, reported that Barrios Díaz, who was 37 years old, began experiencing respiratory issues in August and was admitted to the infirmary of prison 1580 in San Miguel del Padrón, Havana. Despite doctors advising him to stay hospitalized, he was transferred to the La Covadonga hospital for specialized care. However, due to a lack of fuel for constant surveillance, the prison authorities decided to return him to prison. His health deteriorated and he died after undergoing emergency surgery for respiratory complications on Saturday.
The OCDH condemned the actions of the prison authorities and called for the immediate release of all political prisoners in Cuba. The organization also highlighted the deteriorating health of other political prisoners such as Félix Navarro and José Daniel Ferrer. The OCDH requested that democratic governments and the European Union take note of the serious situation of political prisoners in Cuba and hold the state accountable for providing adequate medical services to prisoners.
Barrios Díaz had been sentenced to nine years in prison for participating in the historic protests of July 11, 2021. His death is a reminder of the dangers faced by political activists and dissidents in Cuba.
The OCDH called on democratic governments and human rights organizations around the world to demand justice for Barrios Díaz and all other political prisoners held by Cuba’s communist government.
It is time for Cuba’s government to recognize its responsibility towards its citizens and respect their fundamental human rights. Only then can we hope for a better future where everyone has access to healthcare, education, and economic opportunities without fear or persecution.