Cuban archbishop meets with former political prisoners sent to Spain


Cardinal Jaime Ortega, Archbishop of Havana, Cuba, met with a group of former Cuban political prisoners living in Madrid, Spain earlier this week. He noted that the talks were “very positive.”

The cardinal told reporters that the group “is concerned about their immediate future here in Spain and about their legal status.” He said the freed prisoners also wanted to discuss the possibility of having family members in Cuba join them in Spain.

Cardinal Ortega called the Nov. 29  meeting “very positive,” adding that he felt it was necessary to personally meet with the dissidents so they would know that the negotiations for their release were part of the Church’s ongoing efforts to help all political prisoners.

“This is a humanitarian effort in the sense of charity and love of neighbor.  The effort must always go on and it has continued now in this meeting with them,” he added.

The cardinal said that the remaining 11 political prisoners detained during the Black Spring of 2003 will also be released.

Although he doesn't know “when,” he said that he has been “given a clear promise that the remaining imprisoned dissidents will be released and allowed either to stay in Cuba, or as some desire, to go to the United States.”

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