Updated, Jan. 17, 2009 Reinaldo Labrada Peña was released from prison Jan. 15, 2009, after completing his 6-year prison sentence.
Internet searches do not reveal too much about Reinaldo Labrada Peña, this week's Political Prisoner of the Week, except that he was an activist in the Varela Project and in 2003 was arrested and sentenced to 6 years in prison for his opposition to the dictatorship.
In prison, he has shown he is a man of character.
One of the few items about Labrada, now 45, I found in English was a posting I did last October. It's worth repeating:
Imagine the temptation.
After more than three years in a rotton prison, your guards offer you a way out.
Just denounce your former dissident ways and accept Fidel Castro and communism as your savior.
Do it, and you can be reunited with your wife and family.
However, selling out his soul like that was too much for Cuban political prisoner Reinaldo Labrada Peña.
Labrada, who is suffering from various health ailments, had anticipated being released after serving a little more than half of a six-year prison sentence.
But his wife, Gisela Verdecia García, told journalist Mercedes L. García that prison officials had denied his release because her husband would not "take to the re-education system or participate in political activities."
"He is resigned to everything, saying if he has to complete the six years, he will complete them, but he will not take any benefit from the prison," Verdecia García said for a story published at Payolibre.
Labrada, a leader in the Varela Project, was arrested during the "black spring" crackdown of March-April 2003, and sentenced to six years in prison.
One of the surest indicators of the repressive nature of the Castro regime is the jailing of more than 300 political prisoners. To illustrate that reality, Uncommon Sense each week profiles one prisoner. There also is a Political Prisoner archive on the left sidebar. To suggest a prisoner for a profile, send me an e-mail.
For profiles of imprisoned Cuban journalists and related information, read the March 18 Project.