Skip to comments.Cuba releases a handful of dissidents
Posted on 11/29/2004 11:12:34 AM PST by Luis Gonzalez
A handful of Cuban dissidents jailed during a harsh crackdown last year were allowed to return home Monday amid widespread speculation that the Cuban government's surprise move is part of a strategy to ease strained relations with the European Union.
The releases came after a meeting last week between Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Pérez Roque and Spain's ambassador in Havana and an announcement that the two nations had resumed formal contact.
Cuba broke off diplomatic contacts with European Union member nations in Havana last year after the EU adopted sanctions against the communist-ruled island in response to the government's jailing of 75 government opponents. But the new Socialist government of Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero has been pushing to restart a dialogue with Cuba.
Monday's releases were similar to the conditional freedom of six other dissidents in June: They are in poor health and were sent home under an ''extrapenal license,'' meaning their convictions remain in effect and that they could be returned to prison at any time.
Those released Monday include economics writer Oscar Espinosa Chepe, who had been hospitalized for months with a liver ailment; Dr. Marcelo Lopez, a physician, and activists Margarito Broche and Felipe Mustafa. All underwent medical exams prior to their release.
So far, the government has only released 10 dissidents in the original group of 75 who were accused of working with U.S. diplomats in Havana to undermine the socialist system. They were sentenced to as many as 28 years behind bars.
no thread should ever go without at least one comment.
As someone with many dear friends from Cuba, I long for the day that all will be free of Castro (and hope that Raul won't follow Fidel).
Not really alot of good news is it?
Good news for the families of some.
It's an empty gesture in Castro's part...a truly meaningful one would be for him to finally die.
My friends from Cuba, who regularly send money to their families, now have to pay a surcharge to Castro's government.
I honestly wonder if Castro didn't impose this penalty and outlaw the dollar out of some sort of twisted revenge for falling down on stage and embarrassing himself a few weeks ago. And I'm surprised this hasn't happened before.
What was the reason for this change?
"It's an empty gesture in Castro's part...a truly meaningful one would be for him to finally die."
God Bless you!!!
The reason for the change was to strike back at President Bush's limiting travel to Cuba. Americans of Cuban descent, as well as unnaturalized Cuban immigrants traveling to Cuba was a huge source of income for Fidel.
When the President clamped down on the practice, Fidel clamped down on the use of the dollar as a currency in Cuba in an effort to harm those within family in the US.
It cost the President a few percentage points of the vote down here, but it was well worth it IMHO.
I'm a simple citizen trying to honor my country and my flag, while trying to keep alive the hopes and dreams of freedom of the people and the country were I was born.
God bless America.
Just read your homepage -- don't have one yet myself.
Anyway, ditto to you my comments to Luis Gonzalez. Dios le bendiga.
You're welcome my FRiend. Happened to me once, and it feels a bit deppressing.
Oh, oh... Be looking to see if the portraits of Fidel are disappearing.