Cuba reportedly releases at least two dozen detainees


The Washington Post reports that Cuba has released more than two dozen political prisoners in the past two days, following a pledge to free detainees as part of last month’s agreement to normalize relations with the United States, according to human rights groups and activists.

The Miami-based Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba listed 28 prisoners it said were released, most of them on Thursday. [. . .] It was unclear how many, if any, of those said to have been released were part of a list of 53 prisoners, compiled by the Obama administration, that Cuba agreed to free during negotiations with the White House over normalization.

Neither the United States nor Cuba has revealed the names on the list or made any comment about specific releases since President Obama announced the normalization deal last month.

The State Department said this week that “some” prisoners had been released but declined to identify them. Many of those said to have been released were members of the Patriotic Union of Cuba, an anti-government dissident group known by its Spanish initials, UNPACU, and the Ladies in White, a protest group made of wives and relatives of political prisoners, according to activist groups.

According to the list of released detainees provided by the Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba, most had been imprisoned for a relatively short time, ranging from three years to less than a year.

According to Elizardo Sanchez, head of Cuba’s Human Rights and Reconciliation Commission, those released included 19-year-old twins Diango and Bianko Vagas Martin, Enrique Figuerola Miranda, Ernesto Riveri Gascon and Lazaro Romero, the Associated Press reported from Havana. [. . .]

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