Cuba authorizes release of five extra dissidents
Cuba has authorized the release of five extra dissidents who are not among the 52 already set for freedom under a landmark deal reached in May, church officials said Thursday.
Juana Maria Nieves, Domingo Ozuna, Juan Francisco Marimon, Misael Mena and Jose Luis Ramil "have accepted to leave prison and be transfered to Spain," the office of the Havana archbishop said in a statement.
The development comes hours after the European parliament awarded its prestigious human rights prize to Cuban dissident Guillermo Farinas, who immediately called for an end to Cuba's Communist "dictatorship."
Farinas, who heads the outlawed online agency Cubanacan Press, held a 135-day hunger strike earlier this year that left him near death but compelled the Cuban government to release the 52 political prisoners.
Thirty-nine of the 52 have already been released under the deal, which was brokered by the Roman Catholic Church and should see those who agree transferred to Spain by November.
© 2010 AFP