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Cuba frees dissident who got US medal

Last Updated: Saturday, March 12, 2011 - 09:42

Havana: Cuba freed political dissident Oscar Elias Biscet, a doctor who was awarded the US Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2007, he said.

Reached by telephone, Biscet said, “I am fine, very happy to be reunited with the family."

"It goes without saying that I will continue in the opposition because even in jail I did not give up my questioning attitude toward this government and the abuses it commits," he said.

Police escorted him from the Combinado del Este prison to his house in downtown Havana.

Biscet, 49, who was serving a 25-year prison sentence following a crackdown on dissidents in 2003, was perhaps the most prominent member of a group of 52 who were to be freed under a deal last year negotiated with Spain and Catholic church officials.

Havana has released 40 of the dissidents who agreed to go into exile in Spain, but initially balked at freeing the others. But authorities later released eight others, and after Biscet`s release, only three of them remain behind bars.

During his incarceration, Biscet was awarded the US Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2007 by then-US president George W Bush.

Bureau Report

First Published: Saturday, March 12, 2011 - 09:42

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