Cuba will free two of 11 political prisoners who have remained behind bars despite President Raul Castro's promise last summer to release them, the Catholic Church said on Friday.
They were among 52 jailed dissidents Castro agreed to let go in a landmark agreement with the Church that began what has become a broader release of political prisoners on the communist-led island.
One of the men, Angel Juan Moya Acosta, will be allowed to stay in Cuba and the other, Guido Sigler Amaya, has said he wants to go to the United States, according to a Church statement.
Only one of the previous 41 released has stayed in Cuba, while most have gone to Spain, which has agreed to take them in.
Moya and Sigler were among 75 dissidents jailed in a 2003 government crackdown that damaged Cuba's international relations.
Of those, 52 were still in jail when Castro agreed in July to let them go.
The Church said at the time the process of freeing them would take three to four months, but it has now stretched out to almost seven months.
In the past few days, two of the prisoners and one of their wives began hunger strikes demanding their release.
At the same time, Cuba has freed or promised to free another 19 political prisoners not connected to the 2003 crackdown and, according to the Church, the government plans to release all jailed dissidents.
ReutersLast Mod: 04 Şubat 2011, 17:14