Arrested in 1960 for being philosophically and religiously opposed to communism, Armando Valladares was interned at Cuba’s infamous Isla de Pinos Prison (from whose barred windows he watched the failure of the Bay of Pigs invasion). His life in Castro’s gulag was a hell of violence and disease, putrid food and squalid living conditions, forced labor and solitary confinement, and hazardous escape attempts. Valladares survived by prayer and poetry. His writing, smuggled out to Europe and the U.S., made him one of the world’s most celebrated prisoners of conscience. As a result of pressure from international human rights organizations, the Castro regime finally released him in 1982.
When Against All Hope first appeared, it was immediately compared to Darkness at Noon and other classic prison narratives about the resilience of the human spirit in the face of totalitarianism. Now, with a new prologue by the author, which tells of his life since prison and brings the story of Cuban dissidence up to the case of Elian Gonzalez, this story of strength and survival is more relevant than ever.
Dictatorships are synonymous with persecution, we are reminded by Vallardesspelling!!/corrected.gs who survived 22 years (1961-1983) of Cuban penal institutions as a political prisoner. Barbarity against prisoners was intensified after the Bay of Pigs invasion, and torture and degradation of inmatesmany of them former Castro supportersare recorded here along with Valladares'ssp?/corrected.gs own ordeals in the Havana Cabana fortress and hishis?/yes.gs forced labor during 10 years in the ill-famed Isla de Pinos, where he met his wifea fellow inmate's daughter. With the help of Amnesty International and Valladares's??/corrected.gs smuggled writings the author's wife eventually secured his release, and the couple now lives in Spain. Although broken in health, his indomitable spirit kept Valladares??/ok.gs alive even in the dread Boniato Prison for hardcore political resisters. International organizations, he alleges, are aware of conditions in Cuba, but are of little assistance. An unobtrusive translation enhances this affecting narrative. Photos not seen by PW.
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Against all hope
Incredible true story of how bad life is in Cuba. Everyone should read this book.