Cuba releases political prisoner, Spanish businessman
Cuba freed an illegal Orthodox Party of Cuba member and a businessman detained on bribery charges after a visit by Spain’s foreign minister.Havana – Cuba on Tuesday freed a political prisoner and released a Spanish businessman to house arrest, following a visit by Spain's foreign minister, diplomats and dissidents said.
Miguel Angel Moratinos had sought the releases from Cuban President Raul Castro and Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez during a two-day visit to the communist island which ended Monday, Spanish diplomats said.
Authorities released Nelson Aguiar, who was sentenced along with 74 other political prisoners in 2003, said Laura Pollan, leader of the Ladies in White group of spouses and relatives of jailed dissidents.
Aguiar, 64, belongs to the illegal Orthodox Party of Cuba and suffers from a several medical ailments, including degenerative osteoarthritis, a slipped disc and hypertension, according to his wife.
Another political prisoner who had been released for health reasons was now authorised to travel to Costa Rica, dissidents said.
Cuban authorities also authorised Spanish businessman Pedro Hermosilla -- who was detained on bribery charges several weeks ago -- to return to his Havana home under house arrest awaiting trial, the Spanish embassy said.
Moratinos told journalists that he had expressed concern for the Spanish citizen during his visit.
Spain will preside over the European Union in the first half of 2010, when it is expected to prod efforts to improve relations with its former colony Cuba.
AFP / Expatica