Cuban Raul Garcia looking to turn a new corner

There was a time when Cuban Raul Garcia could not move around without police escort, much less drive a car.

However, today his life has taken a 180-degree turn and the former prisoner — who was only allowed back into his native Cuba after spending 15-and-a-half years in prison here on cocaine charges and another three-plus years afterwards in immigration detention in Barbados — is looking to open his own taxi business and to offer a sightseeing service for visitors to his native Cuba.

Garcia, who now lives “a decent and quiet life” in Havana, said his focus over the past three years has been on building his family’s future.

David Comissiong (left) and Raul Garcia.

“Soon from now I’ll be able to provide a taxi or sightseeing service to anyone who wishes and needs to be transported to any part of Cuba in my car,” he revealed at the end of a 12-day visit to Havana by his former lawyer David Comissiong.

Comissiong, who was travelling with his daughter Aisha, said they were escorted to the Jose Marti Airport by Garcia.

And at the Barbadian attorney’s suggestion, the former prisoner later prepared a written update for Barbadians on his new life.

“Today was a great day for me because after three years I was able to reunite with a great man and saviour of my life in the year 2013 in the beautiful island named Barbados,” Garcia said in his statement.

He also expressed his love and gratitude to Barbados, which he said was “one of the most important countries” in his life.

“To my people of Barbados I wish you the best and the most happy New Year. I want all of you to know that my promises have been kept and that my life has been changed into what I am today — a good law-abiding citizen to the world and its people.

“I also want you to know that my love for Barbados has not and will never change as long as I live. Thanks to all of you in Barbados who assisted and supported me in my time of crisis,” he said.

In extending best wishes to the people of Barbados, Garcia said: “I hope that God keeps blessing this beautiful Island throughout its eternal existence.

“One day – and I know that God will help me on this – I’ll be able to visit this island again so I can express these words in person.

I send my love and best wishes in this year of 2017 to every individual in Barbados. Let peace and harmony be the main reason for all of us to share with one another this year. God bless you all,” he added. (KJ)

14 Responses to Cuban Raul Garcia looking to turn a new corner

  1. Angela Skeete
    Angela Skeete January 10, 2017 at 3:32 am

    Praise God only last week I was questioning about this man glad ur doing well I have encountered him a few times very pleasant man happy new year to u too

    Reply
  2. Hal Austin January 10, 2017 at 3:37 am

    I will take Garcia seriously when he decides to give the authorities the names of his drug contracts in Barbados. Until then claims of reform are just public relations.

    Reply
  3. Honest January 10, 2017 at 4:34 am

    @ Hal Austin- You are so right! But, we both know that he cannot and will never do that.

    Reply
  4. Hal Austin January 10, 2017 at 6:25 am

    Honest,

    We need some honesty in public life. The man is an unreformed drug dealer. All this nonsense about art against drugs, as the Christians will say, he must repent. This he is refusing to do.
    What we can surmise is that he was not smuggling drugs for the boys on the block. He was the courier for the middle classes and professionals, living the life of Riley.
    That is why we need interventionist legislation. If people are living above their incomes, the authorities (police, tax man) should be able to move in and get them to prove where their money is coming from.
    We do not want another Brandford Taitt claiming that his dead wife gave him money. Transparency.

    Reply
  5. Open Concepts
    Open Concepts January 10, 2017 at 6:54 am

    He who is without sin cast the first stone. Mr Garcia do not need forgiveness from mankind, but from the almighty. A lot of prisoners cannot redeem themselves when release because society keep putting them down. Mr Garcia happy for you.

    Reply
  6. kathy-Ann Clarke January 10, 2017 at 7:44 am

    God bless him, I hope and pray that he will do his best not to get involved in the drug trade again, and he will keep his focus on being a great citizen.

    Reply
  7. Rawle Spooner
    Rawle Spooner January 10, 2017 at 7:48 am

    So now I’m seeing real reason for this award,thought something was not adding up.Hope Raul Garcia is never ever allowed back into Barbados he is a foreign convicted drug smuggler or maybe he give up names of people the drugs was intended for just saying.

    Reply
  8. Diana Cummins
    Diana Cummins January 10, 2017 at 8:49 am

    If I am not wrong,wasn’t Garcia on his way to another country with the drugs that he was held with. Wasn’t intended for the streets of bim,however everyone deserved a second chance. God knows we all have fallen short..

    Reply
  9. Helicopter(8P) January 10, 2017 at 10:48 am

    Best wishes Mr Garcia, and may God be your guiding light!

    Reply
  10. Walter Prescod January 10, 2017 at 11:26 am

    I am so disappointed by some of the comments made here.
    You wanted him to change , he has! but for some it’s not enough.
    And you want blood. Is this Barbados or America?

    Reply
  11. Gearbox1964 January 10, 2017 at 1:19 pm

    All the best Garcia. You don’t need to give up any names to put your life in jeopardy. You have left that life behind and you have moved on, so let the past remain in the past. Ignore those who have nothing positive or encouraging to say. The people of Cliff, St. John send their love. God bless.

    Reply
  12. Bobo January 10, 2017 at 3:32 pm

    Boys and girls -you was born with a talent”-please go after it”, sacrifice is the name of the game—stealing and dealing with drugs is not a talent—-15 of the best years spent in a prison–think before you take action–”money” easy come” easy you will pay the consequences.

    Reply
  13. Mikey January 10, 2017 at 8:48 pm

    Hal,,,,,, the man has paid his debt to society.
    You remind me of Shylock, well take your pound of flesh, not an ounce more nor less. You are not a paragon of virtue and remember that all have sinned and come short of the mercy of God. If you say not, then you are deemed a liar.
    Man,,,, go and sin no more !!!

    Reply
  14. payne January 11, 2017 at 12:42 pm

    he paid his dues in prison let the man live. give up his contacts and be looking over his and his family’s back?

    trini voice ” that make sense?”

    Reply

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