Freed Cuban prisoner heads for US

Dissident Ariel Sigler released as part of deal between church and Cuban government.

    Sigler had been a fit and active boxer before
    his arrest in 2003 [Reuters]

    All denied the charges, as did US officials.

    Sigler had been a fit and healthy boxer when he was arrested, but developed paralysis below the waist while in jail and has to use a wheelchair.

    Shortly after Sigler's release in June church officials reached a landmark agreement with the Cuban government for a further 52 prisoner to be released.

    So far 15 additional prisoners have been released as part of that deal, with five more set to be freed at any time.

    To date all of those freed have been sent, along with their families, to exile in Spain.

    Officials have said it will likely take months before all 52 are freed.

    Sigler's family said that after receiving a US visa and clearance from the Cuban authorities to leave, he planned to fly to the US next week.

    His US visa is only for him, meaning no family members will be allowed to come - at least not immediately, a relative told the Associated Press news agency.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.

    Pakistan's tribal areas: 'Neither faith nor union found'

    Pakistan's tribal areas: 'Neither faith nor union found'

    Residents of long-neglected northwestern tribal belt say incorporation into Pakistan has left them in a vacuum.