Cuba will release 3,522 prisoners on the occasion of the upcoming papal visit, but the fate of political prisoners -- which Havana denies having -- remains unclear. Jillian Kitchener reports.
Preparations are in full swing for the upcoming papal visit to Cuba. And amid the excitement, Cuba announces it will pardon and release some 3,522 prisoners. ... a move many Cubans see as a step in the right direction: (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) CUBAN CITIZEN, LAZARO, SAYING: "It is a positive measure, that despite what these people have done they will be pardoned. I do not know what brought about this process but I see it as a positive measure." Cuba, which officially denies it has political prisoners, said those convicted of crimes against state security would not be among those released. --- nor would prisoners convicted of the most violent crimes. Havana released 53 political prisoners in December and January under a historic U.S.-Cuba accord. But many protesters say their freedom is conditional and subject to being returned to jail at any moment.