Friday, September 10, 2004

American Hero: James Cason

The Associated Press reports on the head of the US Interest Section (for lack of an embassy) in Havana, who built a replica of a Cuban prison cell in his backyard to draw attention to appalling Cuba's human rights record:

The chief U.S. diplomat in Havana built a model of a Cuban prison cell in his backyard to draw attention to the island's human rights record, drawing fierce criticism from the speaker of Cuba's parliament.

James Cason, head of the U.S. Interests Section here, presented the structure, a model of what he said is a typical solitary holding cell in a Cuban prison, during a small diplomatic reception at his home Wednesday night.

"I'm not surprised by any unsightly display that man makes," Ricardo Alarcon, president of Cuba's parliament, the National Assembly, said Thursday. "He lacks seriousness."

"What he should do is mount an exposition of the holding areas of the base at Guantanamo," Alarcon said, referring to the prison in easternmost Cuba where the U.S. military is holding hundreds of prisoners accused of links to Afghanistan's fallen Taliban regime or the al-Qaida terror network.

Cason said the structure was based on a description that imprisoned dissident Oscar Biscet gave his wife.

A little over six feet high and three feet wide, the holding cell of wood and metal features a drain on the floor for a toilet, a plastic bowl of food, a sheet for a bed and a fake rat.
Heh. Recreating Camp X-Ray in his backyard would probably cause a prison riot all over Castro's island.