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Some Cuban dissidents freed, several remain in jail

By
UPI Staff
Cuban President Raul Castro. File photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
Cuban President Raul Castro. File photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

HAVANA, Jan. 1 (UPI) -- Tania Bruguera, a Cuban artist arrested Tuesday ahead of a freedom of speech performance, was released Thursday.

Bruguera claimed she was forced to sign a document saying the performance was intended to "create a public disturbance."

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Cuban authorities retained Bruguera's passport, meaning she will not be able to leave the island for at least 60 days. Bruguera, a U.S. resident, was detained with several other dissidents who were planning to attend the performance.

Opposition journalist Reinaldo Escobar, husband of prominent blogger Yoani Sanchez, photographer Claudio Fuentes, historian Boris Gonzalez and painter Luis Trapaga were among those detained. Escobar was released Wednesday, but the three others remain in custody.

A group of dissidents organized a protest Thursday at the jail where the detainees are being kept.

President Barack Obama announced sweeping changes to U.S.-Cuba relations Dec. 17, normalizing diplomatic ties and lifting travel restrictions, but falling short of lifting the decades-long embargo, an action that would require congressional action. U.S. officials were highly critical of this week's crackdown, especially in light of the recent rapprochement.

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