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    More Cuban Prisoners Released After Rumors of Fidel Castro's Death

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    US-Cuba Relations Recieve Major Makeover (174)
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    This weekend, more dissidents were freed from jail but the news was tempered by new rumors of Fidel Castro’s death and speculation on the conditions of the release.

    MOSCOW, January 11 (Sputnik) — Cuba has freed 38 opposition activists from prison over the past two days, including a popular hip-hop artist, as part of a deal to improve relations with the United States, reports Reuters.

    The dissident Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) said 29 of its members were among those released, and that most had been warned by the communist government they would be sent back to prison if they continued their opposition activities.

    “Our freed prisoners are committed to continue fighting for the democratic Cuba which we all want,” UNPACU’s leader Jose Daniel Ferrer told Reuters.

    Last month President Raul Castro struck a historic deal with the United States to end 50 years of diplomatic hostilities, the decision that came following the release of American prisoner Alan Gross, who was imprisoned in Cuba for five years.

    This weekend, more dissidents were freed from jail, but the news was tempered by fresh rumors of Fidel Castro’s death and criticism of the condition for the release.

    Announcement of his unproven death raced across social media sites despite the absence of evidence, causing people and media personnel to gather in Little Havana in Miami, reported UK Independent.

    As reported by Reuters, opposition groups also expressed concern over those released dissidents, saying that they were set free on the condition that they report regularly to the authorities.

    US Senator Marco Rubio, a leading critic of Obama’s new Cuba policy, said those terms do not account to freedom.

    “The administration must answer if these conditional, potentially short-lived releases are, in fact, what it agreed to with the regime and why it took so long for them to be released,” Rubio said in a statement.

    Cuba’s government has said nothing about this week’s releases. It says there are no political prisoners in Cuba and normally describes dissidents as US-paid “mercenaries,” reports Reuters.

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    US-Cuba Relations Recieve Major Makeover (174)

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    dissidents, diplomatic relations, prisoner exchange, Patriotic Union of Cuba, Fidel Castro, Cuba
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