Cuba frees remaining political prisoners

US says Havana has now fulfilled its obligation to free 53 political prisoners as part of historic normalisation deal.

    Cuba frees remaining political prisoners
    A US official described Monday's release of prisoners as a 'very positive development' [Reuters]

    The Cuban government has freed all 53 of its political prisoners, as part of its normalisation deal with the US, according to a senior Obama administration official say.

    Monday's development follows last month's agreement between the US and Cuba, leading to President Barack Obama ordering the initiation of steps to normalise relations between the two countries, ending a 54-year US trade embargo on Cuba.

    "We welcome this very positive development and are pleased that the Cuban government followed through on this commitment," a US official said.

    "Our Interests Section in Havana was able to verify these releases.

    "These political prisoners were individuals who had been cited by various human rights organisations as being imprisoned by the Cuban government for exercising internationally protected freedoms or for their promotion of political and social reforms in Cuba."

    The US official further said "the Cuban government has notified us that they have completed the release of the 53 political prisoners that they had committed to free".

    "During our discussions with the Cubans, we shared the names of individuals jailed in Cuba on charges related to their political activities. The Cuban government made the sovereign decision to release those individuals."

    Dissident leaders said late last week that Cuba had released at least 35 of the political detainees, as part of the deal with the US administration.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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