Raul Garcia Threatens Hunger Strike in Barbados
Cuban Raul Garcia has again threatened to go on a hunger strike until he is released from Her Majesty’s Prison Dodds in Barbados.
This is the latest development Totally Barbados is tracking as it continues to keep readers abreast of what’s happening in Barbados.
The threat was conveyed by Garcia’s attorney David Comissiong, after his most recent visit with his client who’s concerned about his health in Barbados.
Comissiong said the 57-year-old Cuban was very disappointed that a solution has not been found to his predicament as yet and he will begin his protest action in a matter of days.
The attorney said this time Garcia has committed to going all the way if his imprisonment is not brought to an end.
Why Garcia Still In Prison in Barbados
Garcia remains an inmate at Dodds, more than two years after completing a 20-year sentence for offences relating to the illegal drug cocaine.
Under normal circumstances he would have been deported after serving his time but all efforts to do that by Barbadian authorities have been futile.
The reason is that his birthplace Cuba refuses to accept him and the United States, a country where he is a naturalized citizen, does not want him either.
This state of affair, coupled with the nature of his crime and the fact that he initially entered Barbados using a false passport, has prompted the local authorities to keep him locked up until they find an acceptable solution.
On January 17th, 2012, Garcia began a hunger strike to protest his continued incarceration. It ended just under a month later when the authorities promised that he would be moved from the penal institution to a non-punitive facility. However, months later that has not happened as yet.
UN Wants Garcia Set Free
Garcia’s plight has attracted international attention, including that of the United Nations.
During a visit to the country in April, the UN human rights commissioner Navi Pillay called for Garcia’s immediate release from prison. She said he should be set free while the issues surrounding what should be done with him are worked out.
The Cuban’s case has also been vigorously championed by his attorney, who has repeatedly called on the Barbados government to set him free.
Comissiong has even suggested that Garcia could be released and allowed to stay with a Barbadian family willing to accommodate him at a private residence in a rural area.
That is one of the options being considered by Barbados Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, who has actually met with Garcia.
Stuart stressed that while he intends no injustice to Garcia, national security of Barbados must be taken into account. He added that whatever course of action is eventually taken, it must be in the best interest of Barbados.
September 4th, 2012