US propaganda campaigns against Cuba have not flagged in half a century, and HRW is just one of the more recent contributors. Responding to cries from the US for "human rights and freedom' one Cuban diplomat wearily replied, "of course, and the US has a very long history in this, from Batista, Somoza, Trujillo, Duvalier, Pinochet, Videla', referring to the US-backed dictators of Cuba, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Chile and Argentina.
All the prisoners HRW spoke with had been released. One wonders what the HRW report might have said had it discovered a hidden prison in Cuba where hundreds were held without charge, tortured and argued to be beyond the reach of any legal system?
In the case of those prisoners - held by the US military in occupied Cuba, at Guantanamo Bay - HRW wrote (in January 2010) that US President Barrack Obama should "renew his pledge" to close the prison. No condemnation of the "abusive' Washington regime for its "repressive machinery'. But why should we expect such candour and self-criticism from the US elite?
The lesson from the Human Rights Watch reports on Cuba is that we have nothing to learn about the little Caribbean island whether on its weaknesses or strengths from a self-appointed organisation which represents the US corporate and foreign policy elite.