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Cuban Activists March for Release of Political Prisoners


Laura Pollan, leader the Cuban dissident group Ladies in White, protests after the group's weekly march in Havana, 7 Nov. 2010.

Laura Pollan, leader the Cuban dissident group Ladies in White, protests after the group's weekly march in Havana, 7 Nov. 2010.

A group of human rights activists marched Sunday in Havana to demand that the Cuban government release a group of political prisoners by the end of the day.

The activists, most of them wives and mothers of those incarcerated, marched through the Cuban capital demanding that the Cuban government free 13 political prisoners by midnight Sunday, which they say the Cuban government agreed to in July.

Cuban President Raul Castro agreed with the Roman Catholic Church on July 7 to release 52 political prisoners within four months, without setting a specific date. Most of them have been released and have gone to live in exile in Spain. But 13 who refused to emigrate have remained in jail.

The 52 are part of a larger group of dissidents arrested during a 2003 government crackdown on Cuba's opposition.

Activists of the group called "Ladies in White" have marched weekly for the release of their loved ones.

Cuba has long maintained that it does not hold political prisoners, only "mercenaries." It claims the 52 were working with the United States to undermine Cuban communism.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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