Go into exile overseas or stay in prison.
For one Cuban political prisoner, it was an easy choice — and for the dictatorship, a disappointing one.
“While I was in the Combinado del Este prison in Havana, the political police offered me freedom with the proviso that I leave Cuba but have not accepted it, because it would mean banishment from my own homeland,” said Librado Linares García, president of the Cuban Reflection Movement and one of the Group of 75 imprisoned during the “black spring” of March-April 2003.
Four other political prisoners last month chose differently, but Linares did not begrudge their decision, during a telelphone conversation with independent journalist Guillermo Fariñas.
“I do not criticize nor condemn any brother in struggle and of ideas who chooses to go into exile because it is their right enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Also, all those who left the island for Spain are very sick, but even if I die behind bars, I will not leave my land.”
Is there any wonder why the dictatorship wants him gone?
Linares, who is serving a 20-year sentence, might deny it, but almost five years in the Cuban gulag has left him in bad health. He is blind in his left eye and partially blind in the other. He also suffers from a variety of gastric ailments.
(Cross-posted at Uncommon Sense.)