“No me voy,” I will not leave; that is what a small but courageous group of Cuban prisoners of conscience are saying to the Cuban dictatorship and the Catholic Church in Cuba. After much negotiations between the regime, the Catholic Church, and the Spanish government, a deal was made where 52 political prisoners would be released and forced into exile. None of the dissidents or their family members were ever consulted during these negotiations, let alone allowed to participate in them, but the allure of finally leaving a putrid Castro prison to reunite with family and breathe the air of freedom in a foreign nation led the majority of them to accept banishment.
None of these men or their family members can be blamed for accepting the onerous terms of the agreement, but neither can the Cuban regime, the Spanish government, nor the Catholic Church be applauded for effectively becoming tools of the Castro dictatorship. By assisting the regime in carrying out yet another human rights abuse on these men and their families by participating in their banishment and forced exile, Spain and the Catholic Church have become accomplices to the crime.
From the first release of prisoners, the vile conditions placed on the release of these courageous members of the opposition were exposed, and what the regime thought was a foolproof strategy turned out to be a perfect illustration of how its inhumanity and oppression still knows no bounds. To make matters worse, the two entities it chose to hide behind to lend credibility to its scheme — Spain and the Catholic Church — have ended up looking just as bad as the regime they sought to protect and have lost most, if not all their credibility before the world.
Now, with all their political capital spent in the first few days of the operation trying to justify the unjustifiable banishment and forced exile of Cuban prisoners of conscience, they are all desperately trying to figure out just what to do with the last of the prisoners of conscience who have refused to accept banishment and forced exile as a condition of their release. Cardinal Ortega says there are only 7 or 8 of them that have refused the terms, but as Uncommon Sense reported earlier this week, there seems to be more like 12.
It is no surprise the Cardinal is trying to diminish the number; reporting the real number only makes him look worse than he already does. It will be interesting to see how the regime, and its accomplices will deal with the prisoners who say “no me voy.”