Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Cuban dissidents say regime is only whitewashing its image

Cuban dissidents say regime is only whitewashing its image
Posted : Tue, 17 Aug 2010 14:42:48 GMT
By : dpa

Madrid - Three more Cuban dissidents arrived in Spain on Tuesday, part
of a group of 52 dissidents whom Havana has agreed to release.

The release of dissidents did not mean that Cuba was "opening up," the
three told journalists at a Madrid hotel, saying that Havana was merely
trying to "whitewash" its image.

Efren Fernandez, Regis Iglesias and Marcelo Cano had been released
Monday from prison, where they were serving sentences of up to 18 years.

They landed in Madrid in the company of 13 relatives. Three more Cuban
dissidents were expected to arrive in Spain by Friday, bringing the
total to 26 so far.

"What (the regime) is doing is (to adopt) a strategy to gain time,"
Fernandez said.

"It has come out in the past few days that there is a criminal
repression against dissidents in Cuba," he said.

Those targeted by the repression apparently included the mother of
Orlando Zapata, who died of a hunger strike in February, according to

Havana agreed to release 52 dissidents under a deal between the Cuban
and Spanish authorities brokered by the Roman Catholic Church. The 52
remained in prison from a group of 75 who had been jailed in the
so-called Black Spring crackdown on dissidents in 2003.

Although all of them are considered prisoners of conscience by Amnesty
International, a human rights group, the Cuban government regards them
as common prisoners who were sentenced for serving the interests of the
United States.


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