Relatives of the Cuban political prisoners have been expressing relief at the decision to free them, but relief is not the only reaction.
Journalist, economist and former political prisoner Oscar Espinosa Chepe was freed in 2004 due to ill-health, after being sentenced to 20 years in jail the previous year.
“I think this corners some of the more stubborn elements in the government. It takes their power and strength away because they were the ones who sent these people to prison. And now that they are letting them go it’s very positive,” he said.
“No-one can be against this. Everyone who is reasonable has to see this as encouraging. I think we have to get behind this so it deepens and continues and doesn’t just stop at the release of these prisoners. It’s very important this process continues,” Chepe added.
The earliest releases are a mixture of allowing people to leave for Spain with their families, and others being placed under suveillance at home in Cuba.