Political prisoner freed in Cuba: Catholic church

By Agence France-Presse
Saturday, February 26, 2011 18:18 EDT
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HAVANA (AFP) – Cuba’s Roman Catholic church announced Saturday that arrangements have been made for the release of a political prisoner who had refused exile in Spain.

Diosdado Gonzalez, 48, an electrician by trade, was one of six dissidents left from a group of 75 imprisoned in a 2003 crackdown by Cuba’s communist regime.

Gonzalez, who is a member of the outlawed Peace, Democracy and Freedom Party, went on several hunger strikes while in prison, according to his wife Alejandrina Garcia, a member of the activist group Ladies in White.

The group, led by wives and other female relatives of political prisoners, won the European parliament’s Sakharov human rights prize in 2005.

“In continuation of the process of liberation of prisoners, we inform that the release from jail of Diosdado Gonzalez has been arranged,” said Orlando Marquez, a spokesman for the office of the archbishop of Havana.

Separately the church said another eight Cuban prisoners would be released soon and head into exile in Spain.

The eight are prisoners convicted of activities deemed a danger to the state, but are not considered political prisoners insofar as they were not activists with a political group opposing the only one-party communist regime in the Americas.

The eight are Osvaldo Gonzalez, Jose Miguel Fernandez, Enrique Martinez, Jose Rodriguez, Carlos Martin, Ernesto Duran, Gilberto Martinez and Mario Alberto Perez, a church statement added.

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  • Johnny Warbucks

    Cuba has political prisoners? Wow! How is that possible? Such a Socialist paradise with all that free education and a socialized healthcare second to none in the world under which patients in mental institutions die of hypothermia in a tropical island where the average year-round temp is 80 degrees? No! Can’t be! Besides, the Fidel is the nicest dictator on the face of the earth and he wouldn’t harm a fly. All those 2 million people who have fled the country and the 77,000 who died at sea while trying to flee only did so to show hi off and to undermine the greatest experiment in Cuban history. An experiment that jails people for selling lemons on a street corner while laying off a million workers from the state payroll by telling them to go work for the private sector. An experiment where the average salary is 300 pesos a month (or the equivalent of about $12 USD), a pound of rice (the staple of the Cuban diet) is $5, a pound of sugar is $8 (another big staple of the diet), a bar of soap is $6 and a tube of toothpaste is only $8. And experiment where a handsome cab ride to work is $30 one way and a haircut $40. A Communist paradise I tell you. So, why would anyone living in the lap of luxury like that have a beef with government, particularly when all the unhappy ones have already left or have been killed?
    Surely, the CIA/the imperialists/the Cubans in Miami must be lying about that one.

    Oh, yeah, and that’s the economy alone. Let’s not even go into the political part. Ha!