By Circles Robinson
HAVANA TIMES, April 18 — The offer by Cuba for a prisoner exchange with the US continues on the table as overtures from both sides have sparked new hopes over a possible dialogue between the two eternal adversaries.
One of the bargaining chips being used by the Obama administration to achieve normalized relations with Cuba are the “political prisoners” held on the island for opposing the Cuban government. Cuba, for its part, wants the release from US jails of five of its compatriots known internationally as the Cuban Five.
President Raul Castro said Thursday in Venezuela: “If they want freedom for the so-called “political prisoners”, which include some confessed terrorists (…) release our prisoners and we will send them there, with their families and anyone they want.”
During a visit to Brazil last December, Castro said Cuba would be willing to trade what it considers a group of prisoners it accuses of having betrayed the country while working on a salary from Washington, for the Cuban Five, who had infiltrated violent exile groups based in Miami to prevent further terrorist attacks against the island.
The US calls the prisoners in Cuba “dissidents” and Cuba refers to the Cuban Five as “heroes.” A prisoner swap would be a major breakthrough in thawing icy relations.
To learn more about the Cuban Five check out this post: http://havanatimes.org/?p=5450