Cuba to free seven dissidents to Spain
( dpa ) - Cuba is preparing to release seven dissidents and will allow four of them to travel out of the country to Spain with their families, Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos said Friday night.
Moratinos called the release a humanitarian gesture. Spanish media reported that the prisoners were all very ill. The seven belonged to a group of 75 people arrested in a wave of repression in the spring of 2003.
They include journalists Alejandro Gonzalez Raga, 48, and Jose Gabriel Ramon Castillo, 50, as well as union leader Pedro Pablo Alvarez, 60, and Omar Pernet Hernandez, 62, who belonged to a prisoner aid organization. The four had been sentenced to between 14 and 25 years.
Spanish radio reported that Madrid had lobbied for the release, which was discussed between Cuban and Spanish diplomats during a meeting in Madrid last weekend.