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March 14, 2023
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Cuban political prisoners, pieces of change and extortion

Presos políticos

Havana Cuba. – The probable release with exile of the Cuban political prisoners is discussed in the island’s diplomatic circles and the international media. Again the United States, Spain and Pope Francis are involved. In that context, Maykel Castillo Perez (Maykel Osorbo) and other political prisoners have said they are willing to go into exile in exchange for their freedom.

According to the Government, there are no political prisoners in Cuba. The authorities call them “counterrevolutionaries” and “criminals” and falsely tell the world that they have been punished in fair trials according to national laws.

Recently, during his visit to Cuba, Cardinal Beniamino Stela said that Pope Francis wanted “very much” the release of people sentenced for demonstrating against the island’s regime in July 2021.

For his part, Benjamin Ziff, the United States Chargé d’Affaires in Havana, told Radio Television Martí that the primary interest of the United States in Cuba is human rights, and that the existence of political prisoners constitutes a strong obstacle to the improvement of bilateral relations.

Brian Nichols, Under Secretary of State, stated on March 7, during a speech delivered at Florida International University: “Although we strongly oppose forced exile, the United States will not turn its back on political prisoners, and if they want to come to the United States, we will explore the avenues available under US law to welcome them.”

On the other hand, European diplomatic sources in Havana they told CNN that they are taking measures to facilitate the granting of visas to political prisoners, in case they are released.

Cubans have to choose between repression, prison and exile, with the mediation of personalities and governments that have to make concessions to the totalitarian regime in Havana.

The Cuban government always has valuable captives for this type of negotiations. Remember the case of the American contractor Alan Grosstraded for three Wasp Network spies.

However, an essential difference between this moment and the Black Spring of 2003 is that human rights movements, independent journalists and civil society organizations have borne fruit in the population with expressions of discontent and calls for political changes. .

Joe Biden faces internal pressure to keep his campaign promises to change the Cuba policy established by Donald Trump, and also by those who promote even tougher actions. Negotiations to approve his agenda in the House of Representatives – where he does not have a majority – and the Senate, his eventual candidacy for re-election in the 2024 elections, and world issues such as support for Ukraine focus his attention.

Likewise, the US president has probably been cautious because of his experience as vice president given the devious behavior of Cuban leaders in postponing binding agreements with the Obama administration.

The Cuban Government demands in the first instance its removal from the list of State sponsors of terrorism, which prevents access to the international financial and banking system and obstructs trade, the hiring of ships and the movement of merchandise. Although the State Department has just reaffirmed the position of the Island on that listthe Cuban regime could benefit from requests like those of Colombia to revoke the measure.

In addition, Havana aspires to the total freedom of the mechanisms for sending remittances, the visits of American tourists, the exchanges in all sectors and the arrival of cruise ships, which would generate large income of dollars and the promotion of hotel services and of private entrepreneurs.

The continuity government has not reduced the inherited political, economic and social crisis, which was intensified by its more erratic economic measures. The devaluation of the peso and inflation steadily impoverish the salaries and, therefore, the food and the standard of living of the majority of Cubans.

The political-social situation in Cuba has changed in the face of a government that is facing unprecedented public rejection. Precisely, the weakness of the authorities will increase if they do not allow the participation of Cubans in all spheres. The opinions expressed everywhere should be taken into account to “save Cuba” from the blackout of ideas, the destruction of all its wealth, and the loss of its children, who go where they can seek freedom and better living conditions.

OPINION ARTICLE
The opinions expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the person who issues them and do not necessarily represent the opinion of CubaNet.

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