Human rights groups hail restoration of US-Cuban ties

December 18, 2014 1:48 AM

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Humanitarian groups and international advocates long-concerned over the dire conditions for dissidents in Cuba welcomed the news, which comes after more than a half-century of hostility between the U.S. and the island nation’s communist government. The White House has pledged to make improving human rights conditions in Cuba a central pillar of mending relations — a goal that got off to a good start with Cuba’s release Wednesday of 53 political prisoners, as well as U.S. aid worker Alan Gross, who had been imprisoned for five years.

“This is very good news. The current U.S. policy has been totally counterproductive in terms of human rights. This doesn’t completely overhaul it because the embargo is still in place, but it’s a move in the right direction,” said Daniel Wilkinson, managing director of the Americas Division at Human...

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