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Cuba to free 2,900 political prisoners ahead of papal visit

HAVANA (CNS): In a speech to Cuba’s National Assembly on December 23, the country’s president, Raul Castro, announced that 2,900 political prisoners would be freed in the spring, a move he partially attributed to Pope Benedict XVI’s upcoming visit.

The pope has said he will visit Cuba and Mexico before Easter, although the official dates have not yet been announced.

Castro said the Council of State had taken into account the papal visit as well as requests from prisoners’ family members and top Catholic officials. He also mentioned the 400th anniversary of the Virgin of Charity of El Cobre, patron of Cuba......

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