The Isolated Gesture (That Took 15 Years)

Sunday, June 14, 2009
There's been broad coverage this weekend about the case of Dr. Hilda Molina, the prominent Cuban neurosurgeon, who finally received permission from the Castro regime to leave Cuba and visit her aging mother, son and grandchildren in Argentina.

Dr. Molina, who had been a senior Communist Party official, broke ranks with the Castro regime in 1994 over the island's "apartheid" health care system, where tourists and dignitaries are offered state-of-the-art health care services and treatments -- a privilege denied to ordinary Cubans. As a result of her outspoken criticism, she lost her job, her home and her family -- she became a pariah in Cuba, a hostage of Fidel Castro's regime.

After 15 long years of seeking permission to visit her family in Argentina, the Castro regime finally relented. However, she stresses the fact that this is far from progress, as the Cuban people are still denied the basic, fundamental right to travel in and out of their country.

"I think this is an isolated gesture," Dr. Molina told Reuters at her home in Havana.

"I think things will only change in this regard when no one has to ask for permission to leave Cuba," she stressed.

The Castro regime is one of the few governments in the world, along with North Korea, that requires its citizens to obtain exit permits to leave their country.