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Minister Martin welcomes the release of 52 political prisoners in Cuba

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Micheál Martin, T.D., has welcomed the announcement by the Cuban Government that fifty-two political prisoners who remained from a group of seventy-five originally incarcerated in 2003 are to be released. Speaking today the Minister said:

"Ireland has played an active role in seeking the release of these political prisoners and, in my capacity as Minister for Foreign Affairs, I have repeatedly raised our concern in meetings with Cuban Ministers and officials.

I very much welcome the Cuban Government’s decision to resolve this divisive issue in a comprehensive and positive way, and I want to also acknowledge the efforts of the Catholic Church in Cuba and the role of the Spanish Foreign Minister, Miguel Angel Moratinos in achieving this outcome.

I hope that, with the release of these prisoners, relations between Cuba and the European Union can move forward, with early agreement on arrangements for a more structured political dialogue and enhanced social and economic cooperation.”