More Cuban dissidents up for release

24th December 2010, Comments 0 comments

Two more Cuban political prisoners are set to be released and sent to Spain, the Roman Catholic Church, which has been brokering deals with the Castro regime, said Thursday.

The prisoners are not among 52 jailed dissidents Cuba agreed to release earlier this year under a landmark deal, the office of Havana Archbishop Jaime Ortega said.

In a brief statement, the archbishopric said Miguel Vidal and Hector Larroque had agreed to leave Cuba for Spain once they are released from jail at a date yet to be announced.

Vidal, it said, was sentenced to 15 years in prison in 2003 on charges of violence and terrorism, while Larroque was serving a 22-year-sentence for weapons possession and trying to leave the country illegally in 2000.

Of the 52 dissidents President Raul Castro agreed to release in July following talks with Ortega, 40 have emigrated to Spain with their families, one was freed in Cuba, and 11 remain in jail refusing to leave the country.

Dissident sources say around 100 political prisoners remain jailed in Cuba, in addition to the 11 that Castro has already agreed to free.

© 2010 AFP

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