Canada Welcomes Cuban Government Decision to Release Political Prisoners

(No. 216 – July 9, 2010 – 9:00 p.m. ET) The Honourable Peter Kent, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas), today issued the following statement regarding the decision by the Government of Cuba to release five political prisoners immediately and another 47 in the coming months:

“Canada welcomes the commitment by the Cuban government to release 52 political prisoners. Canada has consistently and strongly urged Cuba to respect freedom of expression and other basic human rights.

“Canada is encouraged by this positive step. We will monitor the situation closely and we will continue to press Cuba to release all political prisoners.

“Our government would like to acknowledge the role played by the Archbishop of Havana, Cardinal Jaime Ortega, and by Spain’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Miguel Ángel Moratinos, in this matter.”

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Meredith McDonald
Senior Communications Adviser
Office of the Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas)
613-944-7013

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874