Monday, March 07, 2005

"All should be freed"

Saturday's Washington Post contains a powerful op-ed by Berta Soler Fernandez, wife of imprisoned Cuban dissident Angel Moya Acosta. Ms. Fernandez writes matter-of-factly about her own and her husband's struggle for freedom:

My husband, Angel Moya Acosta, is enduring his fourth detention since 1999, when he openly declared his dissent -- a not-so-frequent attitude among black people in Cuba. Until then, he was a simple technician earning his 135 pesos ($5) a month, although I must say that after fighting for a year and a half in Angola he was less convinced of the rightness of everything the Cuban regime was doing.

Moya was jailed twice for celebrating the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, once for distributing copies of the declaration itself (a declaration, incidentally, that the Cuban government has signed) and, most recently, for possessing texts about the declaration (as well as a portable radio and a battery charger).

Imprisoned for owning and distributing copies of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Meanwhile, the American Library Association, which prides itself on its devotion to defending intellectual freedom, refuses to do anything about the Castro regime's mockery of this principle.

It is the final paragraph that reveals just how courageous Ms. Fernandez and her husband are:

Recently, when these supposed liberations happened, many wives of political prisoners hoped that their husbands would be considered sick and be released. Not me. Moya told me that he does not want to be released "for health reasons" since he should not be in the prison in the first place. This may mean that Luis Angel and Lienys will not have a father for many more years to come, but I am proud of Moya's attitude.

Standing Up to a Dictator


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