UPDATED, March 22, 2011 — The Catholic Church announced today that Eric Caballero would be released and expelled to Spain.
Cuban political prisoner Eric Caballero Martínez has completed five years of a seven-year sentence he received in 2005 for a charge of "public disorder," which under Cuban law should qualify him for transfer to a less severe security regimen and possibly a conditional release.
But no one ignores Cuban law more than the Cuban government, so Caballero, an activist with the Pro Human Rights Party of Cuba, as of last month remained housed with common prisoners at one of Castro gulag's most notorious outposts, the Combinado del Este in Havana.
In response, Caballero, 26, on Sept. 16 started a hunger strike and refused to wear the uniform of a common prisoner, demanding that his captors recognize his status as a political prisoner.
By the end of September, however, Caballero had ended his hunger strike because of various health ailments, including ulcers, gastritis, rheumatism and pain in a swollen testicle — for which he has been denied all medical care, according to a report posted at CubaNet.