Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Cuba to release last of Black Spring dissidents, cardinal says

Cuba to release last of Black Spring dissidents, cardinal says
Posted : Mon, 29 Nov 2010 14:52:27 GMT

Madrid - Cuba will release the final batch of dissidents jailed in the
so-called Black Spring of 2003, Cuban Cardinal Jaime Ortega said Monday
during a visit to Spain.

Forty of the 52 dissidents who had remained in prison from the initial
group of 75 jailed in the Black Spring have arrived in Spain so far,
along with other released Cuban prisoners. One of the 52 stayed in Cuba
after being set free.

The 11 who are still behind bars have rejected Spain's offer to accept
them. Cardinal Ortega said he had a "clear promise" that the 11 would be
released, though he could not say when.

Some of them might choose to travel to the United States, Ortega said.

Ortega, who has mediated in attempts to persuade Havana to free
dissidents, met with some of the dissidents now living in Spain.

Following weeks of negotiations, the Roman Catholic Church and the Cuban
government made a deal in early July, for the release of the 52
dissidents jailed in the Black Spring.

A total of 75 dissidents were then handed prison terms of up to 28 years
on charges such as being "mercenaries" in the service of the United States.,spring-dissidents-cardinal-says.html

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