Cuba Frees Last of 53 Political Prisoners

Raul Castro makes his historic speech on December 17th on an agreement with the USA that included a promise to release 53 political prisoners.

HAVANA TIMES — The US government said today that Cuba has completed the release of the 53 political prisoners agreed upon between Washington and Havana in December, but declined to give their names, reported dpa news.

“The Cuban government has notified us that they have completed the release of 53 political prisoners they had agreed to release”, assured sources who requested anonymity.

The US government was pleased by this development he described as “very positive”, noting that Cuban President Raul Castro has kept his word.

The sources explained that the release of the 53 prisoners has also been confirmed by the US Interests Section in Havana.

Thus far, Washington has kept secret the identity of the political prisoners on the list, drawn up by the Obama administration. The source said the government will provide the full information to Congress.

Last week several congress persons and senators wrote a letter to Secretary of State, John Kerry, asking him to publish the names of the 53 political prisoners that the Cuban government agreed to release and criticizing the lack of transparency of the Obama administration.

The same government sources explained that the 53 political prisoners on the list are “people who had been cited by several human rights organizations such as being imprisoned for exercising internationally protected freedoms and for promoting political and social reforms in Cuba.”

Thus far the Cuban government has not informed the local population on any releasing of prisoners. Likewise, the official media has not mentioned that any release of political prisoners was part of the historic diplomatic agreetment with the United States.

The releases come a week before assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere Affairs of the United States, Roberta Jacobson, travels to Havana to initiate dialogue for the normalization of diplomatic relations between the two countries, broken off by the USA in 1961.

Jacobson will lead the US delegation to participate in migration talks, to be held on January 21-22 in Havana. Her visit will be the highest level mission of an American diplomat on the island in half a century.

The meeting was already scheduled and is not because of the historic announcement made on December 17 by presidents Obama and Raul Castro. But now, after the thaw between Washington and Havana, the meeting acquires a far greater dimension.
Editor’s note:  Here is the list of the released prisoners published later on Monday by ABC News.

1. Emilio Planas Robert
2. Alexeis Vargas Martin
3. Diango Vargas Martin
4. Bianko Vargas Martin
5. Ivan Fernandez Depestre
6. Sonia Garro Alfonso
7. Ramon Alejandro Munoz
8. Eugenio Hernandez Hernandez
9. Juliet Michelena Diaz
10. Angel Yunier Remon Arzuaga
11. Vladimir Morera Bacallao
12. Jorge Ramirez Calderon
13. Marcelino Abreu Bonora
14. Wilberto Parada Milan
15. Alcibiades Guerrra Marin
16. Jose Leiva Diaz
17. Eider Frometa Allen
18. Alexander Roberto Fernandez Rico
19. Aracelio Riviaux Noa
20. David Piloto Barcel
21. Enrique Figuerola Miranda
22. Jose Manuel Rodriguez Navarro
23. Lazaro Romero Hurtado
24. Luis Enrique Labrador Diaz
25. Madaline Lazara Caraballo Betancourt (on probation)
26. Miguel Alberto Ullao Ginard
27. Reiner Mulet Levis
28. Roberto Hernandez Barrio
29. Alexander Otero Rodriguez
30. Angel Figueredo Castellon
31. Anoy Almeida Perez
32. Carlos Manuel Figueroa Alvarez
33. Cesar Andres Sanchez Perez
34. Daniel Enrique Qezada Chaveco
35. David Bustamante Rodriguez
36. Eliso Castillo Gonzalez
37. Ernesto Robero Rivery Gascon
38. Ernesto Tamayo Guerra
39. Haydee Gallardo Salazar
40. Jorge Cervantes Garcia
41. Jose Lino Ascencio Lopez
42. Juan Carlos Vasquez Osoria
43. Julio Cesar Vega Santiesteban
44. Leonardo Paumier Ramirez
45. Miguel Tamayo Frias
46. Miguel Guerra Hastie
47. Niorvis Rivera Guerra
48. Rolando Reyes Rabanal
49. Ruberlandis Mainet Villalon
50. Sandalio Mejias Zulueta
51. Vladimir Ortiz Suarez
52. Yojarnes Arce Sarmiento
53. Yordenis Mendoza Cobas

5 thoughts on “Cuba Frees Last of 53 Political Prisoners

  • Nice to see all their names, good of you to add them, editor.

    Now as I recall, the Cuban government has insisted for several years now that they did not have any political prisoners in their jails.

    Has the Castro regime, by releasing these 53 named political prisoners, admitted they did have political prisoners after all?

    How many more political prisoners remain in Cuba’s prisons still?

  • Moses, undoubtedly, it’s the only one…as history has proven, and will continue to enlighten. I’ll make a believer out of you yet. jaja But seriously, lets hope that Raul makes a believer of us all. So far, so good.

  • The Castro oligarchy needs to change their draconian laws first, otherwise is just another revolving door of unjust incarceration!

    AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL: Cuba urged to revoke repressive laws -“Cuban laws impose unacceptable limits on the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly,” said Kerrie Howard, Americas Deputy Director at Amnesty International. “Cuba desperately needs political and legal reform to bring the country in line with basic international human rights standards.

    According to article 72 “any person shall be deemed dangerous if he or she has shown a proclivity to commit crimes demonstrated by conduct that is in manifest contradiction with the norms of socialist morality” and article 75.1 states that any police officer can issue a warning for such “dangerousness”. The declaration of a dangerous pre-criminal state can be decided summarily. A warning may also be issued for associating with a “dangerous person”.

    Law 88 provides for seven to 15 years’ imprisonment for passing information to the United States that could be used to bolster anti-Cuban measures, such as the US economic blockade. The legislation also bans the ownership, distribution or reproduction of “subversive materials” from the US government, and proposes terms of imprisonment of up to five years for collaborating with radio, TV stations or publications deemed to be assisting US policy.

  • These 53 people just released are not the last of the political prosiness in Cuba. There are still more in Cuba’s jails.

    US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Powers said that “welcome as that step is, and heartening as it is for their families, it does not resolve the larger human rights problem on the island”.

    US officials said the Obama administration would continue to seek the release of other Cuban political prisoners still in jail.

    “This list (of 53) is not to be seen as the end of our discussion on human rights with the government of Cuba,” state department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

    Berta Soler, who leads Cuban dissident group Ladies in White, asked the US government to keep up the pressure on the Cuban authorities.

    As far as I can tell, Angel Santestieban is still locked up in the Jaimanitas Border Control Unit Prison, Havana. His name is not on

  • Begrudgingly, secretly, or shrouded in misleading propaganda, what matters most is that the Castros have been forced to do something they otherwise would not have done. While it continues to concern me that negotiating with tyrants will likely lead to more tyranny and not less tyranny around the world, it is certainly a good thing for the Gross family and the families of these 53 political activists that the US has lowered itself into the gutter to deal directly with the Castros. On January 21, the Cuban press will thrust out their chest that a high-ranking US State Department official sat directly across the table from a Castro mouthpiece to negotiate as equals. As revolting as this image may seem to people who love freedom, the prize at the end is a free and democratic Cuba. I can only hope that the strategy that Obama has chosen is the correct one.

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