Roman Catholic cardinal says about 7 political prisoners don’t want to leave island for SpainBy AP
Friday, October 1, 2010
Church: 7 jailed dissidents reject leaving Cuba
HAVANA — At least seven dissidents due to be freed from Cuban jails under an agreement reached with the help of the Roman Catholic Church do not want to leave their homeland for exile in Spain, the island’s top cardinal said Friday.
In July, Cuba’s government agreed that over a four-month period it would release 52 political prisoners jailed in a 2003 crackdown on dissent. Thirty-nine of them have been let out so far, and all have accepted asylum in Spain.
While neither the church nor the government has said leaving Cuba is a prerequisite for release, it has clearly smoothed the way.
Cardinal Jaime Ortega said Friday that “there could be seven or eight” prisoners who don’t want to go. But he indicated that Cuba would eventually let all 52 out of prison, even if it meant some would stay in the country.
“Effectively, they will keep getting out … we still are waiting for all 52 to be freed,” Ortega said.
Tags: Caribbean, Cuba, Havana, Latin America And Caribbean, Political Imprisonment, Political Issues