Haunting Images from Inside the Abandoned Panopticon Prison in Cuba

With the recent news that Cuba and USA relations will be normalized, these pictures from inside an abandoned prison in Cuba provide a haunting look into what things used to be like in Cuba. Built during the 1920s, this giant panopticon prison held thousands of inmates, all of them with zero privacy from the prying eyes of the guards.

This is the abandoned Presidio Modelo prison in Cuba.


Closed by the government in 1967, it was originally designed as a “panopticon” prison.


In a Panopticon prison, all the inmates can be seen from one central guard tower, with nowhere to hide.


The cells were simple squares, with no where to hide from the constantly watching eyes…


The prison was built in 1920s by the President-turned-dictator Gerardo Machado.


It once held Fidel Castro and his brother Raul Castro as prisoners.


… anti-American graffiti covers some of the walls.


And it still sits abandoned, exposed to the elements, with nature slowly taking it back over.


There is something about these striking images that makes you stop and think. With the historic news that the USA and Cuba will begin to restore diplomatic ties, these photos of a giant prison from another era show just how impermanent the things we take for granted truly are. Nothing lasts forever, and these images are another haunting reminder of that simple truth.

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