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Last Updated: Friday, 2 December 2005, 02:07 GMT
Prominent Cuba dissident released
Cuba has released a prominent dissident who was among a group of 75 government opponents arrested in April 2003.

Mario Enrique Mayo Hernandez - a 41-year-old journalist who had been jailed for 20 years - was freed for health reasons.

The non-governmental Cuban Commission for Human Rights has welcomed the move, saying it could be "the start of a new round of releases of the dissidents".

Havana says dissidents are US-backed mercenaries aiming to destabilise Cuba.

Staying 'alert'

Mr Mayo was released on Thursday in his hometown of Camaguey in central Cuba.

"He was in very bad health," said Elizardo Sanchez, head of the Cuban Commission for Human Rights.

He said Mr Mayo was suffering high blood pressure, a lung complaint, and psychological problems.

Mr Mayo became the 15th of the 75 dissidents to be released on health grounds since the crackdown two years ago.

"This perhaps could be a wider process. We'll be alert," Mr Sanchez said.

The Cuban government did not comment on Mr Mayo's release.


SEE ALSO:
Havana releases some dissidents
23 Jul 05 |  Americas
Dissidents held in Cuba crackdown
23 Jul 05 |  Americas
Cuba criticised over dissidents
18 Mar 05 |  Americas
Cautious EU greets Cuba gesture
05 Jan 05 |  Americas
Protest targets US Cuba mission
21 Dec 04 |  Americas
Cuba frees dissident journalist
06 Dec 04 |  Americas
Bush approves new squeeze on Cuba
07 May 04 |  Americas


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