Havana, Cuba, Feb 4, 2004 / 22:00 pm
A parish in the Cuban city of Güines has established a prison ministry to assist political prisoners in the region, according to a report from the Cubanet News Agency.
Volunteers visit political prisoners and pray with them and their families for their swift release. They also distribute pamphlets, books and Bibles to prisoners.
Catholics in Güines, encouraged by local pastor Fr. Silvano Pedroso, support the families of prisoners by donating clothing, medicine and first aid products.
Among the prisoners being assisted by the ministry include Miguel Galván Gutiérrez, sentenced to 26 years; independent journalist José Ubaldo Izquierdo, also from Güines, sentenced to 15 years; José Patricio de Armas, president of the December 10th Human Rights Movement, sentenced to 18 months in prison and accused of painting anti-government slogans on the sides of his house.