Raúl Castro‘s government has liberated an elderly dissident — Héctor Palacios, one of the “Grupo de los 75″ – because of his poor health this week.
Palacios, a 65 year-old sociologist, ex-Communist party militant and member of the illegal movement “Todos Unidos” was sentenced to 25 years in prison in April 2003 under charges of threatening the independence of the State, undermining the principles of the revolution and conspiring with the United States.
Some are saying that Palacios’ liberation marks the beginning of fresh start in Cuba, in which Raúl Castro will be more open to dialogue and compromise with dissidents. Palacios says “not so fast”:
In this first statements, given from his Havana home, Palacios says that his release is an isolated incident and due to the seriousness of his condition.
“At this moment there is no will on the part of the government to release the considerable number of political prisoners who are living in very bad conditions,” he said.
“If they want to show that the words of Raúl — thay he wants dialogue — are true, then they should release all political prisoners right now.”
Palacios says that it is up to the Cuban people to create change and that he himself doesn’t plan on leaving Cuba or forgetting his activism.
Via / 20 Minutos
Image AFP via Univision.com