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Let Garcia go!

I may be wrong, and I usually am, but will the Raul Garcia saga ever end?

Senor Garcia, on behalf of most fair-minded Bajans I proffer a heartfelt apology on your unfair, acrimonious and amazingly extended incarceration.

It is now the fifth day of February and the hearing which could see you set free, has been delayed since December with the last promise of a decision being “sometime early in January”!

Some of us claim that you should never be released unless it is to another country; that you should rot in jail; that your release would be dangerous to the citizens of Barbados; that Cuba should be made to accept you(??); and on and on we rant as per usual. You become the topic of the day on the call-in shows once your name or case comes up in the media.

For those who say you should stay in jail permanently, they must be speaking emotionally and not with any sane thought as you have done your time for your crime. I cannot see where you would become a danger to our society and any more so than the few convicted murderers who were released locally recently. Again, those with sane thoughts must know that if the mighty United States cannot make Cuba do what Cuba does not want to do, then how can tiny Barbados?

Your situation is fraught with unprecedented challenges, which explains why your case seems never ending. No-one with the political muscle has the courage to make a decision for fear of being proven wrong. Sometimes in life we have to make decisions and live with them right or wrong. The late Robert Kennedy is quoted as saying “only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly”.

I speak as a private citizen of Barbados with no political aspirations or guidance. I believe that we owe you your freedom once you have served your time. Your continued imprisonment grates the very conscience of any fair-minded Bajan and for those who are concerned about our current financial situation it must be galling re the continuous costs in keeping you imprisoned.

Private citizens have reportedly offered to accommodate you at their residence with their own financial support until a solution is arrived at. What can the fear be? What danger awaits us with your release into our society already overrun with other drug employees? Will you be stupid enough to go seeking another 20 years in prison? Who knows if your release cannot be to our eventual betterment!

I say let the man go! Please be reminded that there are several ex-prisoners who have fallen prey to recidivism. Therefore if he returns to crime he would not be the first to so do.

The continual delay in concluding your case will not solve the problem unless you happen to pass away during such. Will someone in authority make a decision and put this atrocious situation to an end?

Unfortunately Senor Garcia has no say in the matter and that is what bothers me! Shall we wait until the Caribbean Court of Justice becomes involved? Please note that Barbados is not doing too well with cases which have been referred to this final level of the regional judiciary!

My research has told me this: Raul Garcia was a trustee prisoner. This meant that he had the complete trust of those entrusted to guard him; it also meant that he was not only allowed out of the confines of Dodds but in so doing could rub shoulders with Bajans from all walks of life.

This is exemplified in his attendance at several public events like the Holetown Festival, Bridgetown Market, BLP Annual Conference where his art was exhibited and marveled at. He also attended (Oh my God!!) Ilaro Court, and sat in the audience as he awaited his NIFCA Gold Award! The Barbados Government exhibited his work at its New York Embassy where it sold several paintings!

Raul Garcia, you are now regarded and treated as some kind of terrorist! Twenty years ago you accepted a job as a drug mule and you were caught; you were not and are not a drug kingpin contrary to what has been pervaded by our-powers-that-be! Local penal experts have attested to your complete rehabilitation.

A former trustee prisoner at Dodds is now held in virtual isolation at the Garrison daily attended to by six members of the Defence Force and six policemen; they do eight hour shifts as he is watched 24/7. Think of the cost of 12 persons per day. There is also the occasional visit by immigration officers. All this for a former trustee prisoner? What happened between Dodds and the Garrison? More questions than answers!

Give him justice! Give him freedom!

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