This Weekend the Prisoners Who Don’t Want To Leave Cuba Are Expected To Be Released / Iván García

From Canaleta prison in Ciego de Ávila, Pedro Argüelles Morán political prisoner, 62, called me on Friday the 22nd and said a State Security had told him he could be released this Sunday, October 24.

Other relatives of the dozen of prisoners from the group of 75 who, like Argüelles Morán, do not wish to migrate, also expect that in a few hours they will be home with their loved ones, after 7 years and 7 months behind bars.

The news would confirm the Cuban government’s willingness to release the prisoners of the group of 75 who refuse to leave the country, not only before the scheduled date of November 7, but before the meeting that the EU has scheduled for Monday the 25th in Luxembourg where, among other topics, they will discuss if the 27 member countries should maintain a common position on Cuba.

Another hot topic, on the national scale, is that prisoners of conscience who are to be released soon and who want to stay on the island, disagree with the conditions and guarantees offered by the government for their release.

They refuse the parole they expect to be granted because the regime would still consider them prisoners. And in any adverse circumstance, they could be sent back to jail. It is the legal monstrosity offered by the authorities to the dissidents who prefer not to leave their homeland.

Lidia Lima, wife of economist Arnaldo Ramos, 68, on the last visit to the 1580 prison on the outskirts of Havana, learned that Arnold intends to remain in prison until the government changes the terms of his release. And he will only accept unconditional release.

The authorities have remained silent on whether or not they will hold to the parole. The jailed dissidents intend to stay at home and continue their political work, journalism or human rights activities. But they want the government to commit to wipe out the legal aberrations that would free them but with conditions.

Also a broad sector of the opposition believes that the EU should put pressure on Castro to repeal the evil Law 88, the gag law, that allows them to imprison a person for more than 20 years just for disagreeing with the regime.

With a sinking economy and a group of opponents who claim full rights, the Cuban government looks with a certain expectation toward what will be the position of the European Union.

October 23, 2010