The Cuban Catholic church says the government is about to free 52 political prisoners, and five may be freed in the coming hours. The others could be released over the next three to four months.
Pressure has been growing abroad since the group was arrested in 2003 for political activism. The arrests became known as the “Black Spring” and led to the EU freezing co-operation with the Communist regime for five years.
The move was announced in talks held between Cuban President Raul Castro, Cardinal Jaime Ortega, and the Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos, who has implied relations with the EU will be normalised on their release.
Cuba’s illegal but tolerated Human Rights Commission says a total of 167 political prisoners are being held on the island.