Pedro Arguelles home: Vows to continue fight for freedom

Pedro Arguelles Moran has been released on parole and was able to return to his home yesterday.

HAVANA – Cuban prisoner of conscience Pedro Arguelles was released and has returned to his home in the eastern province of Ciego de Avila, said the dissident, adding that he intends to keep up the fight for democracy on the island.

“I’m a civil liberties fighter, I have a commitment to Cuba, to human rights, to freedom and a commitment to democracy – that is my vocation in life,” Arguelles said on Friday in a telephone conversation shortly after returning home.

Arguelles, whose release was announced earlier in the day by the Catholic Church, belongs to the Group of 75 dissidents who were rounded up and sentenced to lengthy prison terms in a 2003 crackdown, four of whom are still behind bars.

The 64-year-old independent journalist was released on parole, as were seven other Group of 75 dissidents who refused exile in Spain and have been freed in recent months.

Arguelles said he will continue his work as coordinator for the Avileña Independent Journalists Cooperative, and among his first plans is a visit to opposition member Guillermo Fariñas in the city of Santa Clara.

There is a reason the Castro regime and the Catholic Church are taking their own sweet time releasing the prisoners of conscience who refuse to accept banishment and forced exile as a condition to their release: none of them have agreed to keep their mouths shut or to abandon their struggle for freedom in Cuba.

I will fight on for democracy in Cuba, says freed prisoner

A freed political prisoner has vowed to continue campaigning for democracy in Cuba, even though he has been he will be jailed again if he breaks the law.

Pedro Arguelles is one of five remaining political prisoners from a group of 75 arrested eight years ago.

Arguelles, a 62-year-old journalist who worked for the underground news agency CubaPress, was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2003.

“I was freed yesterday around six in the evening under certain conditions,” he told RFI. “If Ido not respect the law then I will go back to prison.

But he added, “I want to reaffirm my commitment to democracy in Cuba.
I will continue my fight even if this means I will return to prison.”

Arguelles said that he turned down an offer to go to Spain.

“I was born here and I am going to continue my peaceful battle. I have never agreed to leave.

“I have decided to stay in the country where i was born and where I will die.”

Arguelles is the 48th of the 52 prisoners the authorities have agreed to free.

This is the kind of Cuban that gives Raul Castro ulcers, and seriously affects Cardinal Jaime Ortega’s ability to enjoy his wine and cheese parties with high-ranking Castro government officials.