Cuba to free two dissidents who refused Spain exile

4th February 2011, Comments 0 comments

Cuba will soon release two of the 11 political prisoners it is holding who have rejected exile in Spain, the Catholic Church said Friday.

The statement by the office of the archbishop of Havana, Cardinal Jaime Ortega, did not say when the men would be released.

They were identified as Angel Moya -- the husband of Berta Soler, one of the leaders of the Ladies in White group of dissident wives and mothers -- and Guido Sigler, whose brother Ariel was released from prison in June 2010 and allowed to travel to the United States.

The statement said one of the men wanted to stay in Cuba and the other to travel to the United States.

The men are part of a group of 52 political detainees who were to be freed in a deal brokered by the Catholic Church with President Raul Castro in July 2010.

These releases "give continuity to the process of liberation" of the detainees, according to the statement from Ortega's office.

Of that group, 40 agreed to emigrate to Spain with their families and one stayed in Cuba, but the remaining 11 are still in jail and refuse to be exiled to Spain.

The agreed-upon deadline for their release expired on November 7.

Two other dissidents in the group, Diosdado Gonzalez and Pedro Arguelles, began a hunger strike on Tuesday demanding their freedom.

© 2011 AFP

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