14ymedio, Havana, 3 November 2016 — On Thursday morning former political prisoner Arnaldo Ramos Lauzurique died in Havana at age 74 after a long battle with cancer. The funeral of the regime opponent, sentenced to 18 years in prison during the Black Spring of 2003, will take place at 7:50 pm on Friday after a wake at the National Funeral Home on Infanta Street.
Ramos Lauzurique was released from prison on parole in November 2010, as a result of the negotiation process involving the Catholic Church, the Cuban government and Spanish diplomacy. The activist rejected going into exile despite receiving in call in prison from Cardinal Jaime Ortega y Alamino to seeking to arrange his departure.
On the decision to stay on the island, the opponent told 14ymedio in March of last year that “a lot has happened since that time, but there’s no going back.” He kept a critical eye on the Cuban Government and considered that the authorities of the island “have no willingness to change.”
“He was an excellent economist, a beautiful person, he never had any problems problem within the opposition in which he was involved for over 25 years,” recalls the dissident Martha Beatriz Roque Cabello. “A person dedicated to study, a born analyst and he also liked to write about economic problems,” she added.
“It’s a shame we have lost him,” said Roque Cabello, who was involved with him on multiple opposition projects.
Earlier this year, before US President Barack Obama’s arrival on the island, the government granted permission to travel outside the country only once, to former prisoners of the Black Spring still residing in Cuba.
Lauzurique Ramos did not make use of that special permission to leave because he was in very poor health after surgery last December.