Nelson Aguiar Ramirez (Reuters photo)
A day after his release from jail, Nelson Aguiar Ramirez called for the release of other political prisoners in Cuba.
According to Reuters, Aguiar, who served more than 6 years of a 13-year sentence, called on Cuba's government "to recognize its errors and little by little, if they can't do it all at once, to continue freeing the prisoners of conscience." Aguiar also thanked the Spanish government for its role in his release, and said he may travel to Spain for needed back surgery before he resumes his opposition activities.
Aguiar's health suffered while he was in prison, and buried in the Reuters story you'll find some reasons why:
During his six years behind bars, Aguiar developed a variety of health problems, which he attributed to brutal jail conditions, particularly in a prison in the southeastern city of Guantanamo.
For a year there, he said he lived in isolation in a small cell that had no light and no ventilation except for a hole where guards slid in his food. He said he would sleep next to the hole to catch the air for relief from the "enormous heat."
A hole in the floor was his toilet, and his only water came from a small tube next to it. The conditions, he said, were like something from the Stone Age.
Aguiar was one of 75 government opponents arrested and jailed in what became known as the "black spring" of 2003. In 1999 he founded a tiny political party known as the Orthodox Party, and continued running it from jail, according to Reuters.
"I've worked only for my ideas," he said.
Read the whole Reuters story here.
And my Political Prisoner of the Week profile of Aguiar here.