‘Reforms’ in Cuba not for everyone in Cuba
Fabiola Santiago: Despite “reforms,” some Cubans aren’t free to travel
For all of the Cuban dissidents and bloggers who have taken to the skies to exercise a right that we, in the free world, take for granted — the right to travel freely — there are other Cubans who still cannot do so.
Despite the so-called reforms, key figures in the dissident movement are arbitrarily being denied permission to go abroad and return home.
Among the most prominent is Dr. Oscar Biscet, a physician and respected human-rights activist since the late 1980s, who was released from prison two years ago after serving eight years of a 25-year sentence for “crimes against state security” —charges stemming from acts of free expression and assembly.
“The denial is like punishment,” his wife, Elsa Morejón, told me.
She is visiting South Florida to see her son, who moved here 11 years ago, and her ailing 79-year-old father, Juan Morejón, a political prisoner during the 1960s and ‘70s, living here since he was freed in 1980.
Biscet wanted to accompany his wife, but although he has a valid passport, the Cuban government told him that if he left, he would not be allowed to return. A trip to Miami would mean he would have to leave the country for good.
“My father didn’t want to die without seeing him,” Morejón said.
By denying Biscet re-entry, which Cuba supposedly guaranteed under the travel reforms, the government in effect issued a denial. So Biscet stayed.
“Oscar says he is not leaving Cuba,” Morejón said. “My husband has always been a man consistent in what he says and what he does. He has never agreed to any pact or settlement with the Castros and that’s why he annoys them so much.”
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