Cuba agrees to release 52 political prisoners

| 08/07/2010

(BBC): Cuba has agreed to free 52 political prisoners in the largest prisoner release by the communist authorities for decades. The move follows talks in Havana which involved officials from Spain and the Roman Catholic Church. Five prisoners are expected to leave jail soon, while the rest will be freed in the next few months. Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos said the move "opens a new era in Cuba". Mr Moratinos, who took part in the talks, also expressed hopes that it could help to put "aside differences once and for all on matters of prisoners". The Cuban government has been under pressure to free dissidents since Orlando Zapata Tamayo (left), a prisoner on hunger strike, died in February: a secondis said to be close to death.

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