Cuban dissidents: We'll keep pressing for prisoner releases
Apr, 11, 2011 10:51 AM – EFE Ingles
Havana, Apr 11 (EFE).- The Ladies in White said they would call on the
embassies of several countries to ask for help with the freeing of more
than 60 political prisoners still in jail after Spain announced the end
of the process of releasing prisoners begun last year.
"We'll see if there are other countries that will accept them," Laura
Pollan, a spokeswoman for the group asking for the liberation of all
Cuba's political prisoners, said Sunday.
The Spanish Foreign Ministry said Friday that the releases agreed upon
by the government of Cuban President Raul Castro and the Catholic Church
on the island concluded with the arrival in Madrid of 37 freed prisoners
together with 200 of their family members.
Pollan said her group plans to visit the Havana embassies of such
countries as France, Italy, Sweden, Poland, the Czech Republic and other
members of the European Union, and of some Latin American nations
including Chile and Costa Rica, to ask them to receive prisoners who
would accept exile as a condition for getting out of jail.
"We have a list of the prisoners – maybe they'll accept one or two or
none. We'll keep asking the church, the EU and all countries for help in
getting these prisoners released," Pollan said.
Up to now there are 67 "documented" cases of political prisoners on the
island, though she believes that couldn't be the "real" number, because
in her opinion, as long as the laws aren't changed, "they let some
people go while they lock up others," the Ladies in White spokeswoman said.
The group has always asked that all political prisoners be freed and
that they be allowed to remain on the island and "at least be able to
stay in their own homes on parole" or under whatever conditions can be
agreed upon, Pollan said.
But "if some country agrees to receive them, that's fine, though that
has never been our goal, which is and always will be their release from
prison, freedom for political prisoners," Pollan said. EFE