Cuban Catholic Church announces prisoner releases and banishment

The acting spokespersons for the Castro dictatorship, the Cuban Catholic Church, announced yesterday that nine political prisoners would be released by the regime. Of those 9, Diosdado Gonzalez Marrero — of the 6 remaining prisoners of conscience from the Black Spring of 2003 — is the only one which will be allowed to remain in Cuba. The other 8 political prisoners will be banished from Cuba and forced into exile in Spain.

HAVANA — Cuba’s Roman Catholic church announced Saturday that arrangements have been made for the release of a political prisoner who had refused exile in Spain.

Diosdado Gonzalez, 48, an electrician by trade, was one of six dissidents left from a group of 75 imprisoned in a 2003 crackdown by Cuba’s communist regime.

Gonzalez, who is a member of the outlawed Peace, Democracy and Freedom Party, went on several hunger strikes while in prison, according to his wife Alejandrina Garcia, a member of the activist group Ladies in White.

[…]

Separately the church said another eight Cuban prisoners would be released soon and head into exile in Spain.

The eight are prisoners convicted of activities deemed a danger to the state, but are not considered political prisoners insofar as they were not activists with a political group opposing the only one-party communist regime in the Americas.

The eight are Osvaldo Gonzalez, Jose Miguel Fernandez, Enrique Martinez, Jose Rodriguez, Carlos Martin, Ernesto Duran, Gilberto Martinez and Mario Alberto Perez, a church statement added.

This is another triumph in the constant struggle against the tyranny of the Castro dictatorship and the complicity of the Catholic Church and the government of Spain in the oppression of the Cuban people. Marc over at Uncommon Sense states this victory perfectly:

The impending release of Cuban prisoner of conscience Diosdado González Marrero is a tribute to the courage and commitment of both the prisoner and of his wife Alejandrina García who since the day almost eight years ago he was arrested has steadfastly remained his most forceful advocate.

González — one of the first political prisoners this blog profiled — insisted he would remain in Cuba, even if it meant staying in prisoner for months beyond his expected release. And his wife steadfastly remained his most forceful advocate, most recently even going on a hunger strike to demand her husband’s freedom.