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July 7, 2010: Cuba's Catholic Church says the government plans to free 52 political prisoners.

February 23, 2010: Dissident Orlanda Zapata dies at the age fo 36 after an 85-day hunger strike. President Raul Castro apologises the following day. Another dissident, 48-year-old journalist Guillermo Farinas, goes on hunger strike in protest.

May 19, 2010: Caridinal Jaime Ortega, the Archbishop of Havana, says the government is considering the prisoners' fate. Ortega made his comments after a meeting with President Castro.

May 21, 2010: An ailing Farinas calls for the prisoners to be freed. In return, he vows to end his hunger strike.

June 3, 2010: State-run newspaper Granma runs a story saying Farinas is in a critical condition in hospital in Santa Clara.

July 7, 2010: Farnas ends his 135-day hunger strike. Cuba announces the release of seven prisoners. Meanwhile, the first group of dissidents head to Spain where they seek political asylum.

Havana promises to release a total of 52 prisoners, an estimated third of all political detainees currently in Cuban jails. They will all be free by next October.

(Las Damas de Blanco)

Blog of Fariñas

List of the 75 arrested in 2003 – Amesty international

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