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) reported that Barrios Díaz, a 37-year-old man, began experiencing respiratory issues in August and was admitted to the infirmary of prison 1580 in San Miguel del Padrón, Havana. Despite doctors’ recommendations for him to remain hospitalized, the prison authorities decided to return him to prison due to a lack of fuel for constant surveillance. His condition deteriorated and he died after undergoing emergency surgery for respiratory complications on Saturday.
The OCDH called for the immediate release of all political prisoners and highlighted the deteriorating health of other political prisoners such as Félix Navarro and José Daniel Ferrer. The organization also urged democratic governments and the European Union to issue statements regarding the serious situation of political prisoners in Cuba, emphasizing the responsibility of the state to provide adequate medical services to prisoners.
Barrios Díaz was previously sentenced to nine years in prison for his participation in the historic protests of July 11, 2021. His death is a tragic reminder of the ongoing human rights abuses against political dissidents in Cuba. It is imperative that democratic governments take action to hold those responsible accountable and demand that Cuba respects its citizens’ fundamental rights.