Tuesday, August 16, 2005
In the south of Cuba there is an island of smaller size named Youth's Island. In 1926, when its name was Island of Pines, Machado's government began to build the Model Prison there. It is 4 kilometers away from the center of the current Nueva Gerona City. The red arrow points it in the map.
Pedro Castells, sadistic man, Director of the Model Prison. "Absolute Lord, cruel as not even Ivan the Terrible himself, his domains reached the subconscious of his men" (Pablo de la Torriente Brau, Model Prison). Castells was the director until his deprivation and imprisonment in Havana. His public trial was postponed several times. He was judged in 1936.
(Taken from "Refierome solo a Castells" by Antonio Reyna Leyva)
He didn't accept gifts from anybody
Only ate once a day
He didn't smoke neither drank
He frequently bit his chauffeur
He had a hard and suspicious look
He liked baseball.
He spoke English laud
He only had 3 military suits (…) and no civil cloth
Castells was irritable man. He was always red of anger.
He frequently wrote letters to Trujillo.
He was instinctively cruel but wisely to covered himself with the mantel of pity.
He yawned at least 150 times a day.
He hated Dogs but loved Crocodiles.
He measured sick people pulse with gloves on.
He had a prodigious memory.
His favorite words:
Fool. Fucker. Motherfucker. Fag. Bug. Cockroach.
“Men are, for me, my like sticks for teeth. When I don't need them anymore I throw them out."
“I am the God of the Island of Pines.”
“The Prison is my girlfriend, every day I feel deeper in love with Her”
“I feel drunk contemplating my masterpiece"
Once he was free, Pablo de la Torriente published a lot of articles in the Cuban newspapers about the abuses suffered by the convicts. Some of them are: Suicidados, fugados, enterrados vivos. Una serie sobre los horrores de Cambray (Carteles Magazine). La isla de los 500 asesinatos. Castells no ayudo a Machado (Ahora newspaper). This book "Model Prison" is a magnificent testimony about the Prison during the 30's.