Women’s Right to Motherhood Respected in Cuban Prisons

Cuban female convicts maintain their rights as women to be mothers and ensure the upbringing of their children, for which the country has created accommodations in its prisons, said authorities in this capital.

“Regardless of the sanction or length of sentence, the Cuban penitentiary system respects women’s right to motherhood, and to receive the benefits of existing societal programs,” the director of the Guatao Women’s Penitentiary Facility, Sara Rubio, told the press.

Rubio, who is also a Lieutenant Colonel at the Interior Ministry (MININT) said that once a pregnancy is made known, a care and monitoring mechanism is activated in the Havana municipality of La Lisa or any other prison with female convicts.

The pregnant woman in question enters a regimen led by the gynecologist and obstetrician until the time of delivery, which occurs in one of the external specialized hospitals, from which she returns to the center upon discharge.

Mothers are with their children continually during the first year of life and then they decide on most appropriate family member to take over in further raising the child, Rubio stated during a recent tour of national and foreign journalists through prisons in the capital.

In the specific case of the Guatao penitentiary center, where about 400 females are serving sentences, Rubio said that a new nursery is being built with the right conditions for the stay of the mother and her newborn child.

At the end of the first year, the female convict visits her child once a week, to prevent a breakdown in parent-child communication, she said.

According to Rubio, the protection of pregnant women within prisons includes a special diet, something which was corroborated by Dr. Carlos Alberto Espinosa, Medical Services Assistance Chief at the Directorate of Penitentiary Facilities of the MININT.



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