State Dept. Says 53 Cuban Political Prisoners Released…but Where are They?

Thursday, January 08, 2015
(Getty photo)

The thaw in U.S-Cuba relations may take longer than expected because of uncertainty surrounding the release of 53 political prisoners from the Communist nation. An unknown number of the prisoners have not been freed by Cuba, with no official word on what the holdup is.


State Department officials claim some of the prisoners have been released but wouldn’t elaborate on who they were or how many. The regime of President Raul Castro hasn’t been much help either. Officials there have not put a number on those being released.


 “We know nothing about what’s going on. No one has told us anything,” Reinyer Figueredo, the son of prisoner Haydee Gallardo, told Reuters. Opposition groups say the Castro government was holding about 100 political prisoners before the announced deal with the United States.

People working for the Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba have called prisoners’ family members to ask if their relatives had been released, but have learned of no one who had, according to the Miami Herald.


Three prisoners were released last month, but none since. The State Department’s Jen Psaki said it’s unlikely the U.S. government will release names of those who are released. “We’re not looking to put a bigger target on Cuban political dissidents,” she said, according to the Herald.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Spies, Housewife, Militants: Cuban Prisoners Hoping for Release a Mixed Bag (by David Adams and Daniel Wallis, Reuters)

Human Rights Activists Search for Signs of Cuban Prisoner Release (by Mimi Whitefield, Miami Herald)

U.S. Spy Released from Cuban Prison after 19 Years…but Still Missing (by Noel Brinkerhoff and Danny Biederman, AllGov)

Dictator of the Month: Fidel Castro (by David Wallechinsky, AllGov)


Leave a comment