Accessibility links

Freed Cuban Political Prisoner Arrives in Chile

One of 20 recently freed Cuban political prisoners has arrived in Chile, where he and his family have been given refugee status.

Jose Ubaldo Izquierdo held the flags of both nations Wednesday as he, his wife and other family members arrived in Santiago and were greeted by Chilean Foreign Minister Alfredo Moreno. Izquierdo also thanked Chilean officials for receiving him in a country that "has set an example in human rights in the last 20 years."

Izquierdo and the other 19 recently released dissidents were among a group of 52 political prisoners Havana promised to free in a deal involving Spain and the Roman Catholic Church. They were allowed to go to Spain.

If all 52 dissidents are released, this would be Cuba's largest mass liberation of political prisoners in recent years.

Izquierdo was one of the 75 political prisoners arrested and imprisoned in 2003 in a Cuban government crackdown. They were sentenced to lengthy prison terms.

Cuba has said it holds no political prisoners, only what it calls "mercenaries" who Havana claims are working with the United States to undermine Cuban communism.

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