Oct 19, 2010

Plot Thickens on Castro's Political Prisoner Release

Cuban political prisoner Guido Sigler Amaya has accused Roman Catholic Cardinal Ortega of pressuring him, in collusion with the Castro regime, to accept release from prison and banishment to either Mexico or Czechoslovakia. Mr. Sigler bases his accusation on his allegation that the Cardinal has repeatedly called to ask him to accept the offer. But he has announced that he will not make any decisions until he finds himself free inside Cuba. His brother, Juan Francisco Sigler Amaya, reported the story.

At least 4 other political prisoners have refused to be released into exile: Diosdado González Marrero, Librado Linares, Oscar Elías Biscet and Angel Moya Acosta.

In addition, Mrs. Reina Luisa Tamayo, mother of the political prisoner who died in the regime's custody after an 86 day hunger strike, remains undecided about whether to accept the regime's offer of exile to the United States.

Meanwhile, the spokesperson for the Ladies in White, Laura Pollán, declared that the Castro regime is merely trying to eliminate all opposition on the island. She vowed to continue the Ladies´public protests until all political prisoners are released.

But what does that mean? Surely Messrs. Fidel Castro and Raul Castro are asking themselves the same question. According to Cardinal Ortega they promised that by November 7 they would release all political prisoners including 13 remaining of the 75 arrested in the "Black Spring" of 2003. Around 39 have been released through Cardinal Ortega's intercession but immediately transported out of Cuba, apparently with their consent, obtained while they were imprisoned.

By said date, Castro will have the results of U.S. elections and this will help him calculate his chances of getting the U.S. travel ban lifted, and if releasing political prisoners will help.

Also prior to US elections, the Obama Administration has been trying to win the release of American Alan Gross, accused of espionage, and in a Cuban prison. Washington maintains that he was only distributing computing and telecommunications equipment to members of Cuba's tiny Jewish community. Release of Mr. Gross, because he's an American citizen and innocent, is politically most important for the Obama administration. However, whatever policy is utilized by the Obama administration with respect to Mr. Gross will set a precedent if other American citizens, including those with dual U.S.-Cuban citizenship are arrested by the Castro regime in the future.

As for Cuba's political prisoners, they are only stuff for barter for Mr. Castro. President Obama should not bite the poisonous apple and offer anything for them, let alone finance the Castro regime with US tourist dollars in return for their release. They should be freed because they are innocent, and because Mr. Castro supposedly promised as much.


Castro Says Leave But Some Say No

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