The Archdiocese of Havana recently announced that the Cuban government will soon release six more political prisoners, adding to the list dissidents who have already been released following unprecedented talks between the Catholic Church and political authorities.
The six will follow in the footsteps of the 20 political prisoners released earlier this summer and will be sent immediately to Spain. The government announced last June its intention to release the 52 dissidents arrested during the Black Spring of 2003.
The spokesman of the Cuban Commission on Human Rights and National Reconciliation, Elizardo Sanchez, confirmed that the six will be released and said it could take place this week.
However, Sanchez told Europa Press that there are “between eight and ten” prisoners who do not want to be “exiled” to Spain and that the Cuban government is deliberately delaying their release.
“Each day in prison counts,” he said, adding that Havana’s intention is to send the maximum number of prisoners possible to Spain. Those who refuse will be kept in prison “until the last minute,” Sanchez said.
Berta Soler, a spokeswoman for the Women in White—the spouses of the political prisoners—noted that until government officials allow them to stay in Cuba, “we cannot say that they are truly free.”
“This is undoubtedly a step forward, but until they are in a (Cuba) that is free we cannot say that they have been released,” she told Europa Press.