Cuba releases 30 dissidents, accuses US of meddling

July 8th, 2008 - 1:51 pm ICT by IANS  

Havana, July 8 (IANS) Cuba has freed 30 dissidents arrested late last week, but accused the US mission here of financing opposition groups, EFE reported Tuesday. The agency quoted the chief of the outlawed Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation Elizardo Sanchez as saying that the whereabouts of one of the dissidents, Leonardo Bruzon, remained unknown.

But Sanchez also did not rule out the possibility that Bruzon had been released and was “at the home of some relative”.

Dissidents said the government crackdown was launched to pre-empt a meeting of a rights group and a celebration of the July 4 American independence day in Havana.

The crackdown came after the government warned last week that it would not tolerate continued “provocations and illegal actions instigated by the US government through its diplomatic officials in Havana”.

The Cuban foreign ministry denounced “a surge in provocative actions organised and financed by” the US mission in recent weeks.

The mission refuted the allegations saying its actions were normal business it had been carrying on “for a long time here” and that there had been no “specific activity in recent days”.

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