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HAVANA (CBSMiami) – “Dame la lista! Give me a list. Give a list. What political prisoners? Give me a name, and if we have those political prisoners they will be released.”
Within moments of those words from Cuban Leader Raul Castro, Miami Cuban pro-democracy groups were producing lists of political prisoners known to them.
At the Democratic Directoriate, not only did they have lists, but they have pictures and biographies of about 50 suspected political prisoners.
They also have videos that show the alleged prisoners protesting the Castro regime in the street.
“He is not used to being challenged by real press,” said Orlando Gutierrez. “He had to defend himself in a very cumbersome way.”
The information, the videos and lists like the one from the Cuban American National Foundation were quickly dispatched to the international press in Havana.
Ben Rhodes, who engineered the opening to Cuba, has addressed the political prisoner issue.
“I have shared many list with the Cuba government over the course of 2 1/2 years dealing with them,” he said. “It is their belief that they are not political prisoners, that they are in prison for various crimes and offense against Cuban law.”
Laida Carro tracks the fate of dissidents on the island.
She is skeptical Castro will release anyone.
“You could probably give him a name, two or three, and if he feels like it is like they are chickens in the cage. Let’s see what chicken I can give them so they are happy,” Carro said.
CBS4’s Eliott Rodriguez and Rudabeh Shahbazi are in Havana for this historic trip and will have live coverage on CBS4 News.
Click here to read more about U.S.- Cuba Relations.