Two more Cuban political prisoners arrive in Spain

7th September 2010, Comments 0 comments

Two more Cuban political prisoners arrived in Madrid Tuesday, bringing to 30 the number of dissidents who have reached Spain following their release under a deal between Havana and the Catholic Church.

The two men, Victor Arroyo and Claro Sanchez, traveled to the Spanish capital on two separate commercial flights accompanied by 16 close family members, a foreign ministry spokesman said.

Arroyo was serving a 26-year prison term while Sanchez had been jailed for 15 years for dissident activities.

Cuba agreed on July 7 to release the remaining 52 of 75 dissidents who were arrested in a March 2003 crackdown who are still behind bars in a landmark deal that was brokered by Madrid.

The deal came after dissident hunger striker Guillermo Farinas nearly starved to death.

If all 52 dissidents are freed, it will be the largest release of Cuban prisoners since 1998 when 300 dissidents were spared jail time following a visit by then pope John Paul II.

© 2010 AFP

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