Saturday, May 31, 2008

Dissident will return to resume struggle

Dissident will return to resume struggle

Dissident and former political prisoner Héctor Palacios wants to return
to Cuba in July, the Agence France-Presse reported Friday. "Great
changes begin with small gestures," he told the French news agency,
alluding to the socioeconomic changes instituted by Cuban leader Raúl
Castro. Palacios, 66, is one of the 75 dissidents arrested in March 2003
during a major crackdown on the opposition; he was released in December
2006 because of heart problems and spent six months in Spain undergoing
medical treatment. In Washington this week, he told the AFP that he
believes "the struggle for the people of Cuba must be waged inside and
outside [the island], but what's most important is that the changes will
occur inside." Asked if he is afraid to return, he answered yes, "but my
duty toward my country exceeds [my fear] and gives me the energy needed
to return." Palacios told the AFP that he favors dialogue between
Washington and Havana and called for the lifting of U.S.-imposed curbs
on travel and money remittances. "Without dialogue, there is no peaceful
change," he said, adding that Cubans living in the U.S. "should travel
to their homeland any time they wish and send to their families as much
[money] as they wish to send." For more of the AFP interview (in
Spanish), click here.
---Renato Pérez Pizarro.

May 30, 2008

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