English translation from Spain’s ABC newspaper last week:
“The releases do not signify an improvement of human rights in Cuba”
The freed prisoners are wary of the Cuban government and accuse it of using the liberations to masquerade its image.
The last two political prisoners that arrived in Spain today asked the European Union this afternoon to not abandon its Common Position that the Twenty-Seven maintain towards Cuba. The dissidents have affirmed that it would be a mistake to abandon this Position because “its objectives have not been achieved.” According to the ex prisoner Normando Hernandez Gonzalez, “the human and inalienable rights of all men” are not respected in Cuba.
The other prisoner, Omar Rodriguez, has stated that he does not believe that the releases signify an “improvement of human rights in Cuba,” and he added that these “are a masquerade by the Cuban government”, which seeks “to eliminate the Common Position.”
The two prisoners have united themselves with the seven others who arrived in Spain yesterday, and have asked to appear before the European Parliament to ask that it not lift the Common Position, which regulates the political relationship of the European Union toward Cuba since 1996.
The two dissidents freed by the Cuban government, Omar Rodriguez Saludes and Normando Hernandez Gonzalez, landed this morning in Barajas airport alongside family members. A third freed dissident, Luis Milan Fernandez, had planned on traveling in the same flight, but they were unable to find a seat for him and his family members forcing him to postpone his flight until tonight. Along with him, another dissident freed by the Cuban government will arrive tomorrow. The two of them will arrive accompanied by their respective family members. This brings the total to 11 political prisoners freed by Castro’s regime and received by our nation.
Rejection of the “immigrant” status
Some of the prisoners who arrived in Spain rejected the designation of “immigrants” offered by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, due to the fact that they were forced to leave Cuba as the only means to get out of prison after seven years of incarceration, according to EFE. In the case they renounce their condition of immigrants they would have to apply for political asylum, which would make them refugees and their return to Cuba would be impossible.
Either way, the majority of the freed prisoners in Spain have opposed being sent to different parts of our country. They prefer to stay in Madrid or immigrate to the United States.