UN chief hopes for wider freedoms in Cuba

GENEVA (Reuters) – Cuba’s government should follow the release of 11 political prisoners flown to Spain earlier this month with further liberalising moves, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said yesterday.

The freeing of the 11, part of a deal between the Cuban government and the communist-ruled island’s Catholic church that is supposed to see a total of 52 leave jail, was encouraging, Ban told reporters during a brief visit to Geneva.

“Of course, we expect that there should be more conciliatory measures taken by the Cuban authorities establishing the rule of law and respecting human rights,” he said.

“That is a fundamental principle of the United Nations charter. That is what I would encourage,” added the UN chief who last week discussed the freeing of the prisoners in Madrid with Spanish foreign minister Miguel Angel Moratinos.

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