Three Cuban prisoners not in Church deal arrive in Spain

22nd October 2010, Comments 0 comments

Three Cuban political prisoners who were not on a list of 52 dissidents Havana agreed in July to free in a deal with the Roman Catholic Church arrived in Spain on Friday.

The three -- Ciro Perez Santana, Arturo Suarez Ramos and Rolando Jimenez Posada -- arrived at Madrid's Barajas airport on a regular commercial flight along with 14 family members.

Jimenez Posada, a 41-year-old attorney, was jailed for allegedly revealing state secrets. Amnesty International considers him to be a "prisoner of conscience".

Perez Santana, 61, and Suarez Ramos, 46, were serving lengthy jail terms for piracy.

Their arrival brings to 42 the number of Cuban political prisoners who have arrived in Spain since July.

The three are not among the 52 political prisoners of the 75 dissidents who were rounded up in 2003 in Cuba in a crackdown on dissent who are still in jail and who the Cuban government in July promised to free.

Their arrival in Spain has raised hopes that Cuba may be about to embark on a wave of releases of those not convicted of violent crimes and who are on international dissident lists.

National Assembly speaker Ricardo Alarcon said in Geneva on July 20 that the government wants to free all of those on international dissident lists who have not been imprisoned for violent crimes.

Last week Ortega said that once the group of 52 had been handled, "the others will follow who are" on international dissident lists.

That could mean several dozen more releases, dissident sources say.

© 2010 AFP

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