Cuba frees 30 political prisoners: dissidents

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Print this page Email A Friend!


HAVANA, Cuba (AFP) - At least 30 Cuban political prisoners have been released in the last 48 hours, dissident leaders said Thursday, as Cuba moves towards normalizing ties with the United States.
Washington and Havana announced a historic bilateral rapprochement in mid-December in which Cuba agreed to free 53 political prisoners as part of a deal to end a five-decade standoff with the United States.
"So far we're counting a total of 30 releases, including 24 from the UNPACU," said Jose Daniel Ferrer, leader of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU), a dissident group based in the communist island's east.
Elizardo Sanchez, a prominent dissident from the Cuban Human Rights and National Reconciliation Committee, said his group had counted more than 30.
The releases are occurring "at a trickle and should continue tomorrow," he told AFP, adding that the prisoners came from several provinces.
Both groups confirmed Wednesday that 18-year-old dissident twin brothers had been freed, one day after the US State Department said Cuban authorities had freed some of the 53 prisoners.
But State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki neither specified how many prisoners were freed nor their names, and Havana has yet to comment on the sensitive matter.
For decades Cuba has accused dissidents of being US "mercenaries."
Several days after the historic reconciliation, President Raul Castro referred to them as "a few hundred individuals who receive money, instructions and oxygen from the outside."
At the time of the rapprochement, Cuban dissidents said some 100 political prisoners were languishing in jail.

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at




1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus



Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon