Reading and listening to stories of true freedom fighters is something that you read about in the history books or hear from someone much older than myself. Stories of people enduring great odds of fighting their own government for injustices against humanity grabs the emotions of many. I had the opportunity to meet one of our present day freedom fighters, Elsa Morejon, in January 2008. Mrs. Morejon is the wife of Cuban dissident and political prisoner Dr. Oscar Biscet, recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and a leader in her own right. Elsa is a humble lady with a desire to free her husband and her country from tyranny. She has raised her children alone but still managed to keep the flame of freedom burning as her husband languishes in prison. Her courage and will is infectious.
Elsa is a member of the Ladies in White, a group of women whose husbands, fathers, brothers or relatives are political prisoners. That group actively seeks to free their relatives through a variety of means inside Cuba as well as through outside NGOs and/or countries. The Lawton Human Rights Foundation, which was founded by her husband, also has an office in Miami. One of the foundation's objectives is to advocate for the freedom of all the political prisoners in Cuba. She actively participates in pro-democracy efforts inside Cuba as well. She is currently in Europe meeting with leaders there to push the need for a transition toward democracy and build support for the release of all political prisoners.
The U.S. government policy has been that to begin a process of genuine change in Cuba, the regime must release all political prisoners and initiate a dialogue with its own citizens about the future of their country. I believe that Elsa and many others in her country want that to happen but the recent selection of Raul Castro as the new President and other hardliners in key positions is not a positive sign for change or for the basic human rights of the Cuban people.