How do you spell, “just for show?”

Answer: P-r-i-s-o-n-e-r r-e-l-e-a-s-e-s u-n-d-e-r R-a-ú-l C-a-s-t-r-o. That’s part of the headline (the whole thing reads Prisoner releases under Raúl Castro raise hope for Cuba) of a Christian Science Monitor piece that naively suggests the Castros do ANYTHING out of altruistic feelings:

The steady fall in Cuba’s political prisoner population since Raúl Castro took the reins of power in July 2006 is leading some Cuba experts to conclude that some kind of new day is dawning on the Caribbean communist island.

But at least one person knows the real deal:

The number still represents by far the largest incarceration of prisoners of conscience of any country in the Western Hemisphere and one of the highest per capita rates anywhere in the world – leading some analysts to doubt that anything in Cuba has really changed.

“Yes, they have released some political prisoners, some because they fulfilled their sentences or others because of their health, but that doesn’t translate into a real shift in the country,” says Jaime Suchlicki, director of the Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies at the University of Miami. “I don’t see any let-up in the repression in Cuba or [in] the harassment of the opposition people.”

Surprise, surprise, Castro apologist and colostomy bag changer Wayne Smith chimes in, blaming the U.S. and one George W. Bush for our bad relations with Cuba:

“The Bush administration’s nasty noises are part of the reason for things moving slowly,” says Mr. Smith, who was a longtime State Department Cuba specialist. “If ever anything positive came out of the US, I believe we could see much more rapid releases” of political prisoners.

In case you have no idea who Wayne Smith is, Google his name and you’ll find:

1-His articles posted on a bunch of left-wing moonbat websites.
2-His former boss? Jimmy Carter.

Nuff said.

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