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Cuba has released all 53 political prisoners in US deal

The Cuban government has freed all 53 of its political prisoners, as part of its normalisation deal with the United States, a senior US administration official said on Monday.



Washington: The Cuban government has freed all 53 of its political prisoners, as part of its normalisation deal with the United States, a senior US administration official said on Monday.

"We welcome this very positive development and are pleased that the Cuban government followed through on this commitment. Our Interests Section in Havana was able to verify these releases," the official said.

"These political prisoners were individuals who had been cited by various human rights organisations as being imprisoned by the Cuban government for exercising internationally protected freedoms or for their promotion of political and social reforms in Cuba," the US official added.

Dissident leaders said late last week that Cuba had released at least 35 of the political detainees, as part of last month's historic bilateral rapprochement in which Cuba agreed to free dozens of political prisoners as part of a deal to end a five-decade standoff with the United States.

Now, "the Cuban Government has notified us that they have completed the release of the 53 political prisoners that they had committed to free," according to the US official.

"During our discussions with the Cubans, we shared the names of individuals jailed in Cuba on charges related to their political activities. The Cuban government made the sovereign decision to release those individuals," the official said.

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