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Close But No Cigar

Close But No Cigar

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Businessman Stephen Purvis knew that an arrest was coming, but he and his family - a wife and 4 children - decided to stay in Cuba. Despite living there for 12 years he had a naive sense of fair play. Stephen is arrested for the vague crime of passing state secrets. Quite what secrets and to whom is not clear. He is initially taken to Villa Marista, where he is interrogated at random intervals by the zealous Atencio. Stephen shares a tiny cell with 3 other men, has 15 minutes outside, once a fortnight, and the food is inedible. Many men commit suicide; others just rot or go mad. After 8 months, he is moved to the international prison, where conditions improve. Yet still there is no sign of a trial, and his lawyer admits that no one ever wins against the state. Then just as suddenly as it all began, it is all over.