Tag Archives: Raúl García

Raul Garcia free after being jailed illegally for three years

Raul garcia free Barbados

After serving a 20 year jail sentence for drug trafficking, and then being held illegally for almost three years by a Barbados Government that refused to obey a Supreme Court ruling, Raul Garcia walked free yesterday.

Barbados Free Press published over 20 articles about Garcia in the past year alone. The U.S. State Department issued a Human Rights Report criticising Barbados for continuing to illegally hold Garcia. The Barbados Bar Association took up his cause.

And still the government continued to hold Garcia against the order of the Supreme Court.

We celebrate today with Raul Garcia, and you know that the Bajan news media will focus on the joy of his release until public interest fades. There will be a few stories later on to say how Garcia is making out… but Bajans should continue to think about how our government ignored the Rule of Law. That is the big story here because it happens so frequently on this little rock that those in power develop an attitude that they are above the law. That’s the real story of Raul Garcia.

Garcia a free man
by Emmanuel Joseph

High Court judge approves Garcia’s release to rural family

Tonight, for the first time in almost a quarter of a century, Raul Garcia will sleep in a bed that is not owned by the state.

His 20 years of jail time for drug trafficking and more than three years of immigration detention, pending his deportation, came to an end just after 3 p.m. today, when the Cuban national, with hands raised, walked out of the Supreme Court, unescorted for the first time in seven months of hearings.

Garcia emerged from the Number 9 High Court Chambers with a broad smile, never before seen since proceedings began in front of Justice Margaret Reifer, hugging members of the Prison Ministries who had been supporting him in his quest to be freed from detention.

After spending “a few minutes” immediately outside the doors of the courtroom with his team of lawyers, the family with whom he will live and Prison Ministry officials, an emotional and visibly overwhelmed Garcia, spoke briefly with reporters on the steps of the judicial complex.

Struggling to fight back the tears, the Cuba-born man’s voice was heard in public for the first time since his “incarceration” for the past 23 years…

Thanks to Barbados Today for the photo. You can read Barbados Today’s full story here.

28 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Human Rights

Barbados denies radio and television to illegal prisoner Raul Garcia

Is it about torture? Power? Continued punishment?

by West Side Davie

Why would lawyers for Barbados argue against allowing Raul Garcia to watch TV or listen to a radio?

Good Lord! Raul Garcia finished his 20 year sentence for drugs over two years ago, but because the country of his birth will not take him Barbados continues to hold Garcia in jail. This is contrary to both international and Bajan law, but the government doesn’t care. By all accounts Garcia has been a model prisoner and is a reformed man – starting an anti-drug movement and teaching himself to paint. (background story here)

Apparently the government of Barbados fears him watching television or listening to the radio, so Garcia has been denied these two simple pleasures.

Who was the person who made that decision? What kind of a cold-hearted, power-tripping bastard decided that Raul Garcia couldn’t listen to the radio? It is a wonder that Garcia has stayed sane and peaceful.

The more I see of Raul Garcia and the more I understand what he is going through, the more I admire this man. In the year of our Lord 2012, Raul Garcia is twice the man that Freundel Stuart or Owen Arthur will ever be, and he’s a better man than I am.

Photo courtesy of The Nation: Garcia on pause

Garcia on Pause

Just when Raul Garcia thought things were about to change for the good, they remained the same. Continue reading

26 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Human Rights

Judge orders illegal prisoner Raul Garcia to be brought before Barbados court

Illegally held for two and a half years by Prime Minister Feundel Stuart

“The legal counsel noted, too, that if the court found Garcia to in fact, be a stateless person, he would also be constitutionally entitled to choose his place of residence in Barbados, to be able to move freely about the island and to leave Barbados for any country, when he so desired.”

After more than two and a half years in detention, Cuba-born drug convict Raul Thomas Garcia will finally get his day in court.

This afternoon, the Barbados Supreme Court ordered that a writ of habeas corpus be issued, commanding the minister responsible for Immigration and the Chief Immigration Officer to present Garcia in court on Wednesday, October 24 at 9:30 a.m., to justify why they continue to detain him, despite the fact he has served his 20 year jail sentence for the drug trafficking crime.

Madam Justice Margaret Reifer made the ruling in the Number 6 Court, after hearing an application for the writ, submitted by the ex-convict’s lead attorney-at-law, David Comissiong, who headed a four-member team that included Leslie Haynes, Paula Jemmott and Ajamu Boardi…

… continue reading this article at Barbados Today: Bring him!

Further Reading

January 24, 2012: Barbados prisoner Raúl García vows hunger strike until death

18 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Human Rights

Dithering Prime Minister Stuart admits he can’t make up his mind about Raul Garcia: DLP Leadership defined!

Garcia story an ideal illustration of our do-nothing, accidental ‘Leader’

What PM Stuart said in April (click photo)

Seven months after prisoner Raul Garcia’s hunger strike, and after seven months of press conferences and announcements about what the DLP Government intends with Raul Garcia, accidental Prime Minister Freundel Stuart announced yesterday that he still hasn’t any idea at all about what to do. It’s all so complex, you see!

Well… too complex for Stuart anyway. Maybe he’s waiting until he decides to pass the dead-as-a-Monty-Python-parrot Integrity Legislation first. You can’t move too quickly on these important decisions, folks! It might take thirty or forty years just to pull out a pad and a pencil to make notes.

And what about the previously announced decision to house Garcia at a military base so our country can comply with the international human rights agreements we signed and also comply with the rulings of the Barbados courts? Well, Prime Minister Stuart was lying about that. No big deal – he lied. Hey, you think that’s the first thing he lied about?

This is becoming less about Garcia and more about Stuart’s failed leadership

Hey reader… yes, you! You are a fairly intelligent person. You’re not without compassion – but you are no pushover either… You have our national interests, our reputation in the international community, and the security of Bajans in your mind. Maybe you see it this way, maybe that way. No matter…

How long would it take you to make a decision about Raul Garcia? Seven months? Six months?

More like a day or two is my guess.

And as far as Prime Minister Stuart’s comments about Raul Garcia’s 20 year old drug crimes being of concern – the DLP government just released a murderer after 3 decades in prison. Why the double standard?

Here’s the latest bit of propaganda from the Barbados Advocate. You should read it at their website, but you know we have to reprint it here because the Bajan news media have a habit of deleting or changing stores…

Raul Garcia’s fate being carefully weighed

8/28/2012

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart says that he is carefully examining the options that currently exist with respect to the future of Cuban Raúl García, who remains at Her Majesty’s Prison Dodds. Continue reading

9 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Human Rights

Barbados Chief Justice informs United Nations of human rights violation against Raul Garcia

Barbados Chief Justice Marston Gibson

Now this is interesting…

When was the last time you heard of the Chief Justice of a sovereign country informing UN High Commissioner for Human Rights of a violation of human rights in his own country?

Good for Chief Justice Marston Gibson. That took integrity and courage. Nice to see those qualities exhibited by our top judge.

Bajan Reporter has the whole story and a video of UN Commissioner Navi Pillay explaining how she learned about Raul Garcia’s plight.

21 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Human Rights

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights ignores Barbados’ Guantanamo South

UPDATED: April 5, 2012

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay stated at an April 5, 2012 news conference that she wants Raul Garcia freed immediately – however the April 5, 2012 official UN press release detailing her Barbados visit does not mention Mr. Garcia. Ian Bourne was at the press conference and will file a story at Bajan Reporter.

Illegally held prisoner Raul Garcia a non-subject

Navanethem Pillay (above) arrives in Barbados today, but the plight of illegally-held prisoner Raul Garcia is nowhere to be found in the published agenda of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. That’s too bad because the only difference between the USA’s Guantanamo Bay facility in Cuba, and Raul Garcia’s detention in Barbados’ Dodds prison is in the number of illegally detained prisoners who have no hope of charges, trial or release.

USA’s Guantanamo has many illegally-held prisoners. Barbados has one: Raul Garcia.

Guantanamo Bay, Cuba…

‘GITMO’ in the language of the military: where the United States of America holds prisoners without without charges and without trial. The men imprisoned there are not prisoners of war, nor are they held under any law that is valid within the United States. Because the USA wishes to disobey and circumvent its own laws and Constitution, the Gitmo prisoners are held off US soil. This is because the government of the United States would not dare to do what it does at Gitmo within the borders of the USA.

At least not yet…

… so the USA has Guantanamo.

Barbados Government motto: ‘The law be damned.

It is a pity the DLP Barbados government of Prime Minister Freundel Stuart is not at least as concerned as the USA is with technically obeying the laws of the land, because if our Barbados government was concerned with the law it would have to release Raul Garcia today.

Mr. Garcia is stateless. Over two years ago, he completed a 20 year sentence in Barbados for drug trafficking. He served his time and by all accounts is a reformed and model prisoner, and an accomplished artist. Perhaps even a man you would be proud to call your friend.

Why not call Raul Garcia your friend? People change, and good people occasionally get caught up in things that they shouldn’t have been involved in. Perhaps even some of your own friends.

Garcia has no place to go because the land of his birth, Cuba, will not take him back, nor will the USA where he spent his youth, accept him.

It is against Barbados law for the government to continue to hold Mr. Garcia in custody, let alone in a punitive facility… but our government continues to do so.

Prime Minister Stuart: BIG LIAR

48 days ago, Prime Minister Freundal Stuart promised to transfer Garcia from his punishment cell at Her Majesty’s Dodds prison, but Stuart is about as credible on that promise as he was on Integrity Legislation, Freedom of Information and Conflict of Interest policies.

Raul Garcia remains illegally imprisoned at Dodds.

Will Navanethem Pillay, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, hear the name ‘Raul Garcia’ during her visit? Will she ask to visit Garcia? Will our unlawful detention of an innocent man for over two years be a subject of conversation with PM Stuart or part of the public remarks of Ms. Pillay?

That is unfortunately up to the Barbados news media…

… government lapdogs that they are. Continue reading

40 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Human Rights

Barbados Government should obey previous Supreme Court judgment and free Raul Garcia

“The applicant has been held in detention at H.M.P Dodds pending deportation for in excess of 17 months. Counsel for the Respondents conceded that as the applicant is a ‘stateless person’, his deportation and expulsion from Barbados could not now be achieved having regard to Barbados’ obligations under the 1954 Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons.”

“In the circumstances, as the Minister Responsible for Immigration is unable to say when the applicant is likely to be deported from Barbados and as no evidence has been provided that his continued detention is necessary on ground of national security or public order, the Court holds that the applicant’s continued detention under the Immigration Act, is no longer reasonable or lawful and the applicant should be released from detention at HMP Dodds.”

Honourable Madam Justice Maureen Crane-Scott, Q.C., August 31, 2009

Barbados High Court decided the law on cases like Mr. Garcia two years ago!

Barbados Free Press has received a copy of an unreported Barbados court decision that is exactly on point in the Raul Garcia case.

Bajans can now state with certainty that Mr. Garcia is being illegally held at Dodds Prison by the Barbados Government – and that is according to the Barbados Supreme Court. Mr. Garcia’s sentence ended almost two years ago but he is still being held in a maximum security prison because he is stateless. (Main Raul Garcia article here)

Please read this previous court decision (below or at the link above) and you’ll understand that it is Prime Minister Stuart and his government who are the lawbreakers now, not Raul Garcia. Laws and court orders: do they mean anything to our Barbados government? DLP or BLP doesn’t seem to matter – our governments do what they want regardless of court orders.

BARBADOS

[Unreported]

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF JUDICATURE

HIGH COURT

Civil Division

Suit No: 117 of 2009

Consolidated with Suit No: 14 of 2009

BETWEEN

“ORSC”                                                                               APPLICANT

AND

THE SUPERINTENDENT OF PRISONS                               1st RESPONDENT

THE MINISTER RESPONSIBLE

FOR IMMIGRATION                                                             2nd RESPONDENT

ATTORNEY GENERAL OF BARBADOS                            3rd RESPONDENT

Before The Honourable Madam Justice Maureen Crane-Scott, Q.C. Judge of the High Court

(In Chambers)

2009: August 31

Mr. Douglas Trotman in association with Miss. Veronica McFarlane for the Applicant

Ms. Irene Stephney, instructed by the Solicitor General for the Respondents

DECISION

[1]        This is an urgent application to secure the applicant’s release from Her Majesty’s Prison at Dodds (HMP Dodds) where he is detained pursuant to orders made by the Minister Responsible for Immigration under the Immigration Act, Cap. 190 of the Laws of Barbados.

[2]        The applicant was born in Cuba on the 29th day of August, 1974. He entered Barbados as a visitor on August 24th, 2006 for a period of 1 month. On expiration of his 1 month entry permit, he applied for and was granted an extension of 15 days. Thereafter he illegally resided and worked in Barbados until January 22, 2008 when he was arrested by police and handed over to the immigration authorities.

[3]            Following his arrest, the applicant was detained at the Grantley Adams International Airport for an initial period of 2 months. On March 18th, 2008 the Minister Responsible for Immigration signed orders for his deportation and detention pending deportation from Barbados. He was served with the Deportation Order on March 18, 2008 and thereafter transported from the airport to HMP Dodds where he still remains under detention pending his deportation. Continue reading

28 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Cuba, Human Rights