Cuba announces massive prisoner release ahead of Pope’s visit

September 11, 2015 4:44 PM

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Cuba announced Friday that it would free 3,522 people from its jails — one of the largest prisoner releases since the 1959 revolution — as a gesture of goodwill to Pope Francis who arrives on the island next week for a four-day visit.

The announcement, which appeared in state media Friday morning, said that aside from a few humanitarian cases, the release would not include prisoners convicted of violent crimes such as murder, rape, sexual abuse of children, as well as those jailed for drug trafficking, illegal slaughter of cattle...

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