Cuba frees first prisoners since move to restore ties with U.S.

The Cuban government on Thursday released three political prisoners, the first to be set free since the U.S. and Cuba agreed to restore diplomatic relations.

This was disclosed by human rights advocates.

The three prisoners were imprisoned for being members of the outlawed opposition movement Unpacu and had spent between two and two-and-a-half years behind bars.

However, their release was confirmed by the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation in Havana.

The Cuban President, Raoul Castro in December pledged to release the dissidents as a “humanitarian gesture,” part of the U.S.-Cuba agreement to restore diplomatic relations after 50 years of isolation.

A U.S. State Department spokesperson said that the U.S. would send a top-level diplomat to Cuba even if Havana had not fulfilled its promise to release 53 political prisoners.

However, the diplomat, Roberta Jacobsen, is to be sent to Havana to handle the groundwork of restoring diplomatic relations.

(dpa/NAN)

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