Sunday, November 7, 2010

Pardoned, Not Paroled (Part II)

Today, Sunday, November 7, 2010, is the ostensible deadline for the release of the final 13 Cuban political prisoners of the remaining 52 of the original "75" from 2003.

Renato Pérez Pizarro at Miami Herald's Cuban Colada Blog indicates that Cuba has been releasing other prisoners not on the list, some of whom are relatively or totally unknown to human rights groups.

Some suspect this is a strategy (a la Mariel) to taint the political prisoners by mixing their release (and deportation) with that of common criminals and with prisoners who have indeed used violence in the past.

Still, the most important question remains whether the Cuban government will release and "pardon, not parole" the remaining prisoners who refuse the be banished from their homeland.

Vamos a ver!

A few reminders from last week's post:

* "They refuse to leave prison unless they are freed without any conditions – pardoned, not paroled."

* Hunger striker and recent winner of Europe's Sakharov human rights prize Guillermo Farinas vowed to stop eating again on Nov. 8 if the remaining dissidents are not in their homes by that date. 

* Leading dissident Elizardo Sanchez argued that Cuba's leaders have nothing to gain - and everything to lose - by keeping the last 13 prisoners in jail.  "By releasing them, the government improves its international image and removes a weight off its back. If it does not, it will gain only the world's condemnation," Sanchez said. "Not freeing them would be unthinkable."
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