Saturday, February 12, 2011

Cuba frees more political prisoners

Cuba frees more political prisoners
Published: Feb. 12, 2011 at 2:50 PM

HAVANA, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- The Roman Catholic Church brokered the release
of two of Cuba's political prisoners, but one of them said he wouldn't
leave until his demands are met.

Eduardo Diaz was released from jail Saturday, but Hector Maseda said he
won't go unless two conditions are met, Radio Free Europe reported Saturday.

Both were serving sentences of 20 years or more for treason and other

Maseda's wife, Laura Pollan, said he would remain in jail until the
government meets two conditions: "One, that the sick get out, and two,
that it be a pardon or unconditional release. So I don't know how long
it will be before I go and visit him."

The two are among 52 imprisoned political dissidents Cuban President
Raul Castro agreed to free in a negotiation handled by the Roman
Catholic Church, the BBC reported.

Less than 10 of the dissidents, which Cuban officials usually refer to
as criminals or mercenaries paid by Washington to cause chaos in the
communist system, remain in custody and the BBC reported several more
would be released over the weekend.

The group has been in jail since 2003. They were part of a government
crackdown and were detained along with 73 other opposition figures.

Opposition groups estimated about 100 people are political prisoners in

The release of political prisoners is a requirement Cuba must meet to
improve its relations and economic development with the United States
and the European Union, the BBC said."

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