Cuba Frees 53 Prisoners in US Deal

Cuba Frees 53 Prisoners in US DealCuba Frees 53 Prisoners in US Deal

The Cuban government has freed all 53 of its political prisoners, as part of its normalization deal with the United States, a senior US administration official said Monday.

“We welcome this very positive development and are pleased that the Cuban government followed through on this commitment. Our Interests Section in Havana was able to verify these releases,” the official said on condition of anonymity, AFP reported.

The two sides said last week that Cuba had released at least 35 of the political detainees. Last month, Cuba and the US agreed to work to restore normal diplomatic relations as part of a deal in which Cuba freed an imprisoned US aid worker along with an imprisoned spy working for the US and the imprisoned dissidents. The US released several Cuba intelligence agents. The deal came after 50 years of hostility between the two countries.

“These political prisoners were individuals who had been cited by various human rights organizations as being imprisoned by the Cuban government for exercising internationally protected freedoms or for their promotion of political and social reforms in Cuba,” the US official added.

Now, “the Cuban Government has notified us that they have completed the release of the 53 political prisoners that they had committed to free,” according to the US official.

Cuban President Raul Castro has said the move wouldn’t change the politics of the nation.