Yesterday's AP headline read:
Cuba to free 3 prisoners not in church deal of 52
Cuba will release into exile in Spain a lawyer jailed for allegedly revealing state security secrets and two hijackers, none of whom were on a list of 52 political prisoners the government has agreed to free in a deal with the Roman Catholic Church.
And tucked away at the very end of the story, there was this (important, yet glazed over) paragraph:
All but 13 of the dissidents covered in the deal with the church have been freed. At least seven of those still jailed have rejected freedom because they don't want to leave Cuba.
So 13 of the 52 that were announced for release in July remain in prison, essentially because they refuse to be banished to Spain.
Yet, the AP has the audacity to say that they have "rejected freedom"?
They have not "rejected freedom" -- they have spent over 7 years in political prison fighting for their freedom (as well as that of the entire Cuban people) with extraordinary courage and sacrifice.
Furthermore, forcibly exiling prisoners to Spain is not "freedom."
Freedom includes the ability to choose where you want to live, particularly within your own homeland, as encapsulated in Articles 9, 13 and 15 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Do you think it's a coincidence that the Castro regime is forcibly exiling three additional political prisoners, while 13 of the original 52 remain behind bars?
Of course not, the regime's goal is to divert the world's attention away from those that want to remain in their homeland and refuse to swap prison for banishment.
So why aren't those that refuse banishment worthy of a headline?
It's one thing for the Castro regime and the Catholic Church to play that game, but it's appalling for the world's free media to play along.
In the meantime, the tragic truth remains that not a single one of these political prisoners has been released in Cuba.
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