Facing political fallout, Cuba moves political prisoners
Havana: Cuba`s communist government started
relocating political prisoners closer to their families after
church-government talks aimed at ending politically
embarrassing hunger strikes, dissident and family sources
The action came after church-government talks launched
May 19 aimed at ending hunger strikes in support of the
political prisoners, which have become a major political
embarrassment for President Raul Castro.
So far, the Cuban government moved six political
prisoners to jails closer to their families yesterday, the
Archbishop of Havana`s office announced.
The prisoners who have been relocated are Felix Navarro
(sentenced to 25 years), Antonio Diaz (20 years), Diosdado
Gonzalez (20 years), Ivan Hernandez (25 years), Jose Luis
Garcia Paneque (24 years) and Arnaldo Ramos (18 years), the
They all are among the 53 dissidents still jailed after a
major 2003 roundup that sent 75 Cubans to jail for opposing
the Americas` only one-party communist regime.
Ortega said he had been informed by Cuban authorities of
those six relocations. But he did not mention the case of
another dissident Adolfo Fernandez whose family believes he
also has been moved.
The government agreed with church mediators to move the
sickest among the prisoners -- as many as 25 according to
dissident sources -- to hospitals for treatment. But there was
no relocation of that kind immediately known.
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