UPDATED, March 10, 2011 — Carlos Díaz will be released, according to Catholic Cardinal Jaime Ortega.
A common, and overwrought, criticism of the opposition in Cuba is that it is too divided by politics and personalities, as if there is something un-democratic about differences among people who are otherwise united by the opposition to tyranny. Maybe the Castro brothers exploit those differences, but that does not diminish what opponents of the dictatorship are trying to accomplish: A Cuba libre!
One thing that does unite the opposition is its solidarity with fellow countrymen imprisoned because of their commitment to a free Cuba. They pray for them, they march for them, they do whatever they can to inform the world of their plight. For if there is one element of Cuban life that best illustrates the current situation, it is the existence of the Castro gulag, a tropical dungeon filled with some of Cuba's best, bravest men and women. They must never be forgotten, most of all by their fellow countrymen.
An example of that continued solidarity was the awarding earlier this month of the 2008 Carlos Manuel de Céspedes Dignity Award to political prisoner Carlos Luis Díaz Fernández. Díaz, 39, has maintained a steadfast opposition to the dictatorship since he was sentenced in 1992 to more than 17 years in prison a variety of charges, including attempted illegal exit from the country, "evasion," "disobedience" and "disrespect," according to Rolando Rodríguez Lobaina, of the Eastern Democratic Alliance, which awarded the prize.
Isabel Díaz Fernández said her brother, who currently is being held at the Pre de Santa Clara prison, would be proud to receive the award, which honors political prisoners from eastern Cuba. Isabel Díaz said her brother's current prison is the worst of those in which he has been incarcerated.
Previous recipients of the award are political prisoners Juan Carlos Herrera Acosta, José Daniel Ferrer García, Orlando Zapata Tamayo and Randy Cabrera Mayor. (Read more about them by clicking on their names on the right.)
One of the surest indicators of the repressive nature of the Castro regime is the jailing of political prisoners. To illustrate that reality, Uncommon Sense each week profiles one prisoner. There also is a Political Prisoner archive on the right sidebar. To suggest a prisoner for a profile, send me an e-mail at [email protected]
For profiles of imprisoned Cuban journalists and related information, read the March 18 Project.