Cuban dissident Darsi Ferrer traveled Friday from Miami to Tennessee, where he will live with his family after coming to the United States with a political refugee program.

Ferrer, a 42-year-old physician, arrived Thursday night in Miami and will join his family in Chattanooga, where they have been living since April.

Ferrer "leaves Cuba with a certain sadness, because he leaves behind his life and his struggle," but with the hope of beginning a new life in the United States, Janisset Rivero, director of the exile group Directorio Democratico Cubano, told Efe.

He seems in good spirits and now will need time to heal the "wounds caused by the repression and viciousness" of the Cuban regime against him and his family, Rivero said.

And, she said, though Ferrer will feel somewhat isolated in Chattanooga, far from the exile groups in Miami, that will help him learn English, one of his priorities, and integrate more quickly into American society.

Ferrer will try in some way to resume his profession, which he was forced to quit in Cuba "after being expelled from the center where he worked and the authorities refused to let him continue practicing medicine," Rivero said.

In December 2010 the dissident said that Cuban State Security made it clear that if it gave permission for his family to leave the country, he would have to travel with them to the United States, where his wife, Yusnaimy Jorge, sought needed medical treatment.

Ferrer was held without charges in Havana for 11 months and even after his release was the victim of several brief arrests for his opposition activities and for trying to meet with other dissidents. EFE