posted on Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Radio Netherlands reports:
Cuba is prepared to set free more political prisoners than the 52 whose release was announced earlier this month. Those who are freed may, if they wish, remain in the country. The announcement was made by Ricardo Alarcón, the President of the Cuban parliament, on Tuesday.
The Cuban regime decided, earlier in July and after mediation by the Roman Catholic Church, to release 52 opponents of the country’s government. The 52 belonged to a group of 75 individuals sentenced in 2003 to terms in jail of between six and 28 years. According to figures from Cuban dissidents, there would still be 115 political prisoners in Cuba following the release of the 52.
At least 11 dissidents have already emigrated to Spain. Nine others will depart later this week. Those who agreed to go into exile in Spain were the first to be set free. Church officials have stressed that emigrating from Cuba was an offer, not a condition for the release
It is part of the biggest release of political prisoners since 1998, when 300 dissidents were spared jail time following a visit by then-pope John Paul II.