Inmates in Cuba's biggest and worst prison, Combinado del Este, made 10 hidden-camera videos showing filthy, broken toilets, grimy walls, leaking sewage and food described as worse than "animal feed," according to The Miami Herald. The videos were smuggled out of Havana by dissident journalist Dania Virgen García, who writes the blog "Cuba por Dentro" — Inside Cuba — who said they were shot in late January with a digital camera smuggled into the prison "so that everyone can see Cuba’s reality."
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"The conditions here at Combinado del Este are subhuman, and the food is unfit for human consumption," says Douglas Moore, an inmate in one of the videos who says he is an American convicted of a drug offense, according to CNN. Because he is an American, he says in the video, "I am singled out for abuse. I cannot count all the times that I have been chained by my hands and legs and beaten mercilessly, then robbed of my meager possessions by the guardia frontera here at Combinado del Este."
Elizardo Sanchez Santa Cru, a human rights activist who spent nearly three years in Combinado del Este, said it is one of the worst in Latin America because Cuba does not allow the International Committee of the Red Cross to inspect its prisons, reported UPI.
"Show this video to the international community, how this miserable dictatorship commits cruelties against humanity," says the videos' narrator, a citizen of India serving a 30-year sentence in the Havana prison, according to The Bellingham Herald.
But photos from a media tour of the prison in 2004 depicted a far different picture, with inmates being taught computer skills and exercising on a lawn, reported CNN.
According to The Miami Herald, the videos — two of which have made it to YouTube and show several inmates complaining about the prison conditions — appeared to be the first ever smuggled out of Cuba’s more than 200 prisons.