Human Rights in Cuba

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Cuba ‘frees political prisoners on US list’

Cuba and the US announced in December that the two countries would
resume diplomatic relations for the first time since 1961

The Cuban government has released some of the 53 political prisoners on
a US list, the state department has said.

Spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Washington hoped to see all those on the list
released soon but did not specify who was now free.

Signalling a historic shift, last month US President Barack Obama
ordered his administration to start re-establishing normal relations
with Cuba.

This month Cuban and US officials will meet in Havana.

“They have already released some prisoners… Obviously we would like to
see this completed in the near future,” Ms Psaki said.

“This list is not to be seen as the end of our discussion on human
rights with the government of Cuba.”

Critics of President Obama have raised concerns about
abuses in Cuba.

Senator Marco Rubio, a leading critic of the president on the Cuba
question, called for the postponement of this month’s talks until
political prisoners in Cuba are released.

Senator Rubio and other Cuban-Americans members of Congress have argued
that Mr Obama’s change of policy could provide legitimacy and money for
Havana while it still continues to violate human rights.

He said he and others would seek to slow or block moves towards
normalising ties with Cuba.

The Congress is expected to hold hearings on President Obama’s Cuba
policy in the first weeks of the new Congress, which was sworn in on
Tuesday.

Source: BBC News – Cuba ‘frees political prisoners on US list’ –
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-30704932

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