I compiled this list of tortures prisoners regularly endured under Fidel and Raul Castro after reading Noble Alexander’s memoir, “I Will Die Free”
Mr. Alexander was first kidnapped in the middle of the night by the Castro brother’s version of the KGB. They brought him to headquarters where they forced him to strip naked and questioned him incessantly, boxing his ears so hard it caused permanent
Next he was taken to a crowded dungeon like room permeated with the stench of feces and urine because the prisoners were made to urinate and defecate in a corner of the room. Piles of excrement shocked his nostrils. The prisoners were brought putrid smelling gruel with fat white worms floating on top.
Then he was removed and made to spend the night he was made to sleep naked by himself on a concrete floor where rats, cockroaches and snakes pecked at him continuously.
Next, they threw him into an ice-cold lake over and over again.
Then they took him back to prison where they put him in a box smaller than a shower stall. He had to stand on his tiptoes in order to avoid the nails that protruded up from the floor. From the top of the box, drops of water landed on his head, one at a time. By the end of the first hour, the drops felt like giant hammers pounding on his head.
Then they took him to La Cabańa Fortress where more prisoners have been murdered than any other in Cuba. It is still used as a prison to this day. This is the famous fortress where, nowadays, German tourists like to stand to have their pictures taken, completely oblivious of what is still happening inside. Each night they took a certain number of prisoners and placed them in front of firing squads. The guards often brought their wives and children to watch as a form of entertainment. The prisoners left behind had to manage sleeping through the sounds of the gunshots. One day the guards gathered more than 400 prisoners into a large courtyard where they started firing randomly into the prisoners. Rev. Alexander was shot in the leg, but survived. Most of the others were killed (approx. 400).
One evening when Reverend Alexander they were singing Demos Gracias al Seńor (We Give Thanks to the Lord), with his fellow Christian prisoners, a sniper opened fire on them. Suddenly, they were surrounded by guards with Billy clubs, chains, baseball bats, machetes and rifles. They were ordered to stop singing and when they refused to stop,they guards opened fire. The bullets embedded in their flesh as they continued to sing. Then the guards switch from shooting to beating the prisoners. Rev. Alexander lost part of one of his fingers at this point. Another prisoner was stabbed with a machete in the cheek. His teeth could be seen from the open wound. Another prisoner lost his eye.
Reverend Alexander endured even more tortures as he was moved from prison to prison. He was placed in what was called the ‘Tiger’s Cage,’ for several weeks. It was a 5’ X 5’ cage made out of bars. There was no flat surface on which his now bony body could rest comfortably.
He witnessed one murder after another at the Isle of Pines prison, which Castro renamed Isle of Youth because it had developed the reputation of being Cuba’s version of Auschwitz. He was thrown into an open outdoor sewer and somehow survived that.
He spent time in another prison called Bońiato that was known for its Nazi-like experimentation on prisoners. They would force the inmates to ingest toxic substances to see what kind of effect it would have on them.
At one prison, Reverend Alexander and his fellow inmates were horrified at what happened to a fellow Christian named Sergio who ran back to hide his Bible when the guards emptied the cell in order to search it. As he was running down a hall to rejoin the other prisoners a guard took aim at him and shot him with two bullets in one of his legs.
They took him to the prison doctor who told him that either they would let him bleed to death or he could have his leg amputated. He chose the amputation and was returned to his cell block minus his leg.
Many of Reverend Alexander’s fellow inmates were taken night after night to be murdered by firing squads. He comforted them and told them to meet their deaths with courage, and told them not to hate their captors.
The lucky inmates were regularly beaten with clubs and the butts of rifles. When
one prisoner cried out “Father forgive the, for they know not what they
are doing,’ he was beaten even more severely.
Noble’s sadist jailors had two more tortures in wait for him. For 90 days he was placed in a box that accommodated 6 men squatting side by side. This one was 3’ high and 7’ wide. While he was there, one particular scripture had significance for him: “He who endures until the end will receive the crown of life.” He could barely walk when he was finally let out.
Lastly, he was placed in another type of upright shower stall similar to the one they had place him in at the beginning of his stay in the prison system 22 years earlier. He was in there for 42 days. The guards expected to see a raving lunatic, but his never wavering faith kept him sane.
Oh, wait, there’s one more torture.
When Reverend Alexander was first sentenced in a phony show trial, he was sentenced to 2o years, but his captors had no intention of letting him out of prison. That in itself is a form of torture.
And wait, I just thought of one more.
At one point during his prison stay, he was made to go outside and play baseball with other inmates whenever dignitaries or reporters from foreign countries were brought to the prison so as to show how well treated the inmates were.
Reverend Alexander would never have been released from the Castro brothers prison system had Fidel Castro not be pressured by the outside world himself to release him, not reporters, but mainly an American Christian minister, Tom White, who, for a couple of years, been imprisoned with Reverend Alexander, and Cuban poet, Armando Valladera, poet, who was living in France.
Noble’s mother had gotten out of Cuba in the early days of the revolution. He lived with her for a short time before he was offered a position as pastor of a Seventh Day Adventist Church in the United States.
Noble passed away a free man several years ago.
Source: Gruesome List of Tortures at the Hands of The Castro Brothers