U.S. Senator George LeMieux (R-FL) today made the following statement in response to the announcement that Cuba's communist regime intends to free 52 political prisoners over the next few months. These people were imprisoned during the Castro regime's crackdown known as the "Black Spring of 2003."
"These brave Cubans should not have been in prison in the first place. The regime jailed them for attempting to freely express their views. The releases are designed to manipulate international opinion, without truly making a commitment to respect the human rights of all Cubans. We must not forget that many more hundreds political prisoners continue to languish in the Castro's gulags.
"Given the Castro regime's history of using political prisoners as bargaining chips, I am cautious about this week's announcement. While the conditional release of these political prisoners will bring them and their families some short-term relief, many key details of the release are unanswered.
"Instead of playing games, the Castro regime should immediately and unconditionally liberate all political prisoners and cede power to those who would respect human rights, embrace freedom and democracy and the rule of law."