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FULL STORY:Garcias to visit


Barry Alleyne

FULL STORY:Garcias to visit

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he Garcias are planning a family outing.
Buoyed by the news that imprisoned refugee Raul Garcia could soon be released from Her Majesty’s Prison at Dodds to a non-punitive facility here in Barbados, his relatives plan to write Prime Minister Freundel Stuart seeking permission to be the first to see him upon his release.
Sister Elena Trillas told the daily nation yesterday that she spoke to Garcia last Wednesday and he too was upbeat about the news that his days in prison would soon be over.
The DAILY NATION can also reveal today that Garcia has been moved from solitary confinement back in the general prison population and is eating two square meals a day.
The Garcias are planning a family outing.
Buoyed by the news that imprisoned refugee Raul Garcia could soon be released from Her Majesty’s Prison at Dodds to a non-punitive facility here in Barbados, his relatives plan to write Prime Minister Freundel Stuart seeking permission to be the first to see him upon his release.
Sister Elena Trillas told the daily nation yesterday that she spoke to Garcia last Wednesday and he too was upbeat about the news that his days in prison would soon be over.
The daily nation can also reveal today that Garcia has been moved from solitary confinement back in the general prison population and is eating two square meals a day.
“He’s desperate, since it has been a long time he’s been in prison, but at the same time he is in very good spirits. He was very upbeat about his eventual release when I spoke to him last week,” Trillas said yesterday during an exclusive interview by telephone link-up from her home in Florida in the United States.
If that permission is granted by the Prime Minister, it will be the first time Garcia sees a family member in almost 20 years.Trillas noted that her brother had put back on more than 20 pounds since he ended a three-week hunger strike in February. He had ended the strike so Government could facilitate a move from the St Philip prison.
It was revealed last Thursday by Garcia’s lawyer David Comissiong that the facility where Garcia will be transferred is near completion. The facility is controlled by the Barbados Defence Force, but its exact location has not been made public.
“He’s doing much better and we are glad to hear that. We all have our jobs but we want to be there in Barbados to see him and hug him and talk to him as soon as he is released. We are hoping it will be before the end of the month,” Trillas said.
Garcia’s sister said they were hoping to initiate contact with Comissiong this week so as to fast-track their letter to the Prime Minister.“There are certain things we would have to put in place before we travel to Barbados. We would first want to know what conditions he will be living in,” Trillas said.
“But as soon as he’s moved we’ll be on our way to Barbados.”
Trillas revealed that she, her brother Juan Garcia and Raul’s niece Maria Elena-Verdes would be the first relatives making the trip to see Raul when he’s freed.
Garcia’s elderly parents are both ill but they too expect to eventually come to Barbados to see him. “We will definitely have to seek permission from their doctors for them to travel. His dad is 84 and in a wheelchair and his mum is 88, so it could be very difficult for them to travel, but we are hoping that also works so they can see Raul as well,” Trillas added.

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