Cuba: 45-Year-Old Dissident Spent 23-Years as Political Prisoner

Wednesday, April 9, 2014
From NBC News:

Cuban Jailed For Six Months Released 23 Years Later

In 1991, Lamberto Hernandez was sentenced to six months in a Cuban prison for committing a petty crime. He just walked free last weekend – 23 years later.

After landing in jail on a charge of petty theft, Hernandez said he became more politically aware and active. What he calls his acts of defiance, like engaging in over a dozen hunger strikes and advocating prisoner boycotts, added years to his sentence.

In 2003, he broke a prison television as he shouted anti-government slogans during a televised speech by then-president Fidel Castro. That act, he said, extended his sentence by another decade. One word, he said, describes what was done to him over the last 23 years of his life – "unjust.”

Newly free, 45-year-old Hernandez says his only plan is to "keep fighting" and that "no one can stop me." Instead of breaking him, the time he spent in prison gave him the "courage" to continue, he said. "I feel stronger to keep fighting," said Hernandez.

In 1991, Lamberto Hernandez was sentenced to six months in a Cuban prison for committing a petty crime. He just walked free last weekend – 23 years later.

Unlike other freed political prisoners who have left the island to live in countries like Spain or the U.S., Hernandez plans to “remain [in Cuba] because, God willing, I dream that change will happen tomorrow.”