Cuba frees 2 imprisoned dissidents

Feb. 5, 2011 at 8:17 PM

HAVANA, Feb. 5 (UPI) -- Two Cuban dissidents imprisoned since 2003 have been freed even though they refused demands to leave the Caribbean island nation for Spain.

Roman Catholic officials announced the Communist government's plan to free Guido Sigler and Alfredo Moya a few hours before the men were released Friday, the BBC reported.

Orlando Marquez, a church spokesman, said Moya, who is married to Berthe Soler, a leader in the prisoners support group Ladies in White, wants to stay in Cuba. Sigler, he said, wants to leave for the United States.

The church negotiated with the government in July for the release of 52 dissidents. Most were released then, but 11, including Sigler and Moya, remained behind bars.

Two prisoners recently started a hunger strike.

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