Albert Santiago Du Bouchet Hernandez had survived the worst of the Castro dictatorship, capped by four years in prison because of his opposition to the regime and then, forced exile thousands of miles from home.
Wednesday, it became too much, as Du Bouchet took his own life by hanging. He was 52.
His unfortunate choice was his own, but that does not absolve those who drove him to such a tragic end.
There is, of course, the dictatorship that repressed and imprisoned Du Bouchet, and thousands of other Cubans like him.
And there is the Cuban Catholic Church and the government of Spain, which negotiated for the release and forced exile of more than 100 political prisoners in 2010-11.
The church, as has since been revealed, was looking out for only its best interests in negotiating the releases. And Madrid, beset by its own woes, was quick to abandon its aid for the Cuban expatriates at the first opportunity.
In fact, abandonment by the church and the Spanish government may have been what drove Du Bouchet to his death, as he reportedly was distraught about Madrid's decision to cut off financial support for the Cuban exiles and his inability to find a job because of the poor economy.
Havana, Madrid and the church scored a public relations victory with their 2010-11 arrangement, the final pieces of the quid pro quo being Pope Benedict XVI's visit to Cuba last week and the Castro regime's decision to honor the pope's request that Good Friday be considered a holiday on the island.
Forgotten, especially by the parties involved, are the exiles and their families forced to make an unacceptable choice: more time in the Castro gulag or forced exile overseas.
Du Bouchet took another path, and that is unfortunate. His choice was his own.
But that does not absolve those who imprisoned him, then exiled him and then forgot about him.
His blood is on their hands.
Albert Du Bouchet was twice imprisoned because of his work as an independent journlist.
Learn more about him by reading Uncommon Sense's Political Prisoner of the Week profile about him.