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Obama en Cuba

Here are some of the Cuban political prisoners Raúl Castro could set free tonight

The Cuban leader said there are no political prisoners on the island, and that he'd free any if given a list
21 Mar 2016 – 7:19 PM EDT

During an unprecedented press conference alongside U.S. President Barack Obama, Cuban leader Raúl Castro reinforced his regime's historical stance that there are no political prisoners in Cuba.

"Show me the list of all political prisoners right now so we can free them", he said in a frustrated tone, after a reporter asked about the subject. "Mention them now. Give me the name, or the names, and when this meeting is over, give me a list. If they exist, those political prisoners will be freed before night falls".
Univision Noticias has compiled the following list of at least 19 people who have been labeled as political prisoners by the Madrid-based Cuban Observatory of Human Rights (COHR), as well as the island-based Unión Patriótica de Cuba (UNPACU).



We'll update the list as more cases are confirmed.

1. Harold Alcalá Aramburo: (detained on April 2, 2003)

Serving a lifetime sentence for attempting to alter the course of a small ship. He should have been accused of "piracy" but was instead charged as a "terrorist", according to COHR.

2. Miguel Álvarez Sánchez: (detained on March 3, 2012)

An ex-diplomat who used to advise the speaker of the National Assembly, Álvarez Sánchez was sentenced to 25 years in prison during a secret trial, in which he was found guilty of an unspecified crime against the State.
3. Lázaro Ávila Sierra: (detained on April 10, 2003)

He is serving a lifetime sentence for trying to divert a plane in order to travel illegally to the United States. He should have been accused of "intent of piracy" instead of being labeled as a "terrorist", according to COHR.

4. Ernesto Borges Pérez: (detained on July 17, 1998)

Serving a 30-year sentence for espionage. He was an active member of the opposition and a member of the Frente Antitotalitario Unido, according to a report by COHR. The group, led by Guillermo Fariñas, says Borges Pérez was sentenced without evidence.

5. María del Carmen Cala Aguilera: (detained on April 24, 2015)

An UNPACU member who has a pending sentence for an unspecified attack. COHR says she was detained after a verbal protest.

6. Alieski Calderín Acosta: (detained on October 27, 2012)

Sentenced to 20 years for sabotage. He was detained after throwing a Molotov cocktail at a state shopping mall in the early morning to protest the country's economic situation.

7. Santiago Cisnero Castellano: (detained on July 21, 2014)

He has a pending sentence for an unspecified attack.

8. Maikel Delgado Aramburo: (detained on April 2, 2003)

Serving a lifetime sentence for trying to alter the course of a small ship. He should have been accused of "piracy" but was instead charged as a "terrorist", according to COHR.

9. Mario Ronaide Figueroa Diéguez: (detained on December 2, 2012)

An UNPACU member sentenced to three years in prison for public disturbance. He was detained after a verbal protest, according to COHR.

10. Liusban John Ultra: (detained on March 6, 2013)

Serving seven years in prison, accused of a crime that was fabricated due to his political activism, according to COHR.

11. Ricardo Pelier Frómeta: (detained on May 15, 2014)

Has a pending sentence for attempted murder, but COHR says it was a retributive incarceration spurred by Pelier Frómeta's statements against the regime.

12. Humberto Eladio Real Suárez: (detained on October 15, 1994)

Sentenced to 30 years in prison for acts against the State and for shooting a firearm. COHR says he is a militant anti-Castro politician who infiltrated Cuba as part of an armed group. COHR recognizes one civilian died after being hit by a stray bullet.

13. Francisco Reyes Rodríguez: (detained on April 10, 2003)

He is serving a lifetime sentence for trying to divert a plane in order to travel illegally to the United States. He should have been accused of "intent of piracy" instead of being labeled as a "terrorist", according to COHR.

14. Yoelkis Rosabal Flores: (detained on May 15, 2014)

Accused of attempting to murder police officers, he has a pending sentence. According to COHR, he was the victim of retributive incarceration for making statements against the regime.

15. Emilio Serrano Rodríguez: (detained on February 7, 2015)

Has a pending sentence for an unspecified attack and illegal sales. COHR says he's an UNPACU member who was part of a verbal protest.

16. Armando Sosa Fortuny: (detained on October 15, 1994)

Serving a 30-year sentence for acts against the State. COHR says he was part of an infiltrated group that arrived in Cuba, but did not use any firearms.

17. José Antonio Torres Fernández: (detained on February 8, 2011)
Sentenced to 14 years in prison for espionage. He was a member of the Communist Party in Cuba and used to write for the regime newspaper Granma, according to COHR.

18. Amado Verdecia Díaz: (detained on October 20, 2014)

Sentenced to five years in prison for an unspecified attack. COHR says he's an active member of UNPACU who lent his car to the opposition groups and was threatened by the secret police on several occasions for his opposition activities. According to COHR, his crime was fabricated.

19. Mario Alberto Hernández Leiva:

Was freed in January 2015 with 52 others, but was imprisoned again.


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