Cuba Frees 53 Political Prisoners
The deal is part of agreement between US and Castro
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 12, 2015 9:03 AM CST
In this Dec. 20, 2014, file photo, Cuba's President Raul Castro speaks in Havana, Cuba.   (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa, File)

(Newser) – Cuba has completed the release of 53 political prisoners that was part of last month's historic deal between the United States and Cuba, the US said today. The prisoners had been on a list of opposition figures whose release was sought as part of the US agreement last month with the Cuban government. They had been cited by various human rights organizations 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 has verified the release, according to an official traveling with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Pakistan.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to discuss the issue on the record. Last month, Cuba and the US agreed to work to restore normal diplomatic relations as part of a deal in which Cuba freed an imprisoned US aid worker along with an imprisoned spy working for the US and the imprisoned dissidents. The US released several Cuba intelligence agents. The deal came after 50 years of hostility between the two countries. (The last members of the "Cuban Five" spy group were released last month.)