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Cubaverdad on Twitter

Mar 22, 2011, 17:40 GMT

Havana – Cuban authorities are to release the last two dissidents who
remained in out a group of 75 arrested in the so-called 'Black
Spring' of March 2003, the Roman Catholic in said Tuesday.

Felix Navarro and Jose Daniel Ferrer, regarded as by
Amnesty International, refuse to leave Cuba once they are released. They
were both serving 25-year prison sentences after being convicted of
being 'mercenaries' in the service of the .

The Archdiocese of Havana also announced the release of 11 other
prisoners who are to to Spain once they leave prison. Five of
these are on a list of political prisoners drafted by the
umbrella organization Cuban Commission of and National
Reconciliation (CCDHRN) and were serving 4-30 year prison sentences for
crimes like 'terrorism,' 'contempt' or 'disobedience.'

In July, Cuban bishops and the government of Cuban President
finalized a deal for the release of 52 prisoners of the group of 75
imprisoned in 2003 who remained behind bars at the time. Of these, 40
have already travelled to Spain with their families, while 12 rejected
but were also released.

The Black Spring arrests prompted a wave of international criticism on
communist Cuba and led the to call off cooperation with
the island, which was only officially relaunched in 2008.

In light of the Roman Catholic mediation effort, scores of other
prisoners have also travelled to Spain with their families after being
released in recent months.

According to the Archdiocese of Havana, so far 114 prisoners have
accepted the proposal to leave prison and travel to Spain since July.

The CCDHRN says there are around 50 political prisoners left in Cuba,
about a quarter of the number in January 2010.

The Cuban government denies holding any political prisoners, insisting
that they have all been tried and convicted of common crimes.


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