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Cuba Releases Dissident, As A Second Refuses Release

President Raul Castro
Cuba has agreed to release two of its few remaining political dissidents, but one of the men has refused to leave jail until other ailing dissidents are released.

Eduardo Diaz, who had been serving a 21-year sentence for treason and other charges, has returned home after being released.

But Hector Maseda, who is serving a 20-year term on similar charges, said he would not accept an offer to be let out.

His wife, Laura Pollan, said Maseda is determined to remain in jail until authorities meet his demands.

"There are two conditions [demanded by Maseda]. One, that the sick get out, and two, that it be a pardon or unconditional release," she said. "So I don't know how long it will be before I go and visit him."

Diaz and Maseda were among 52 jailed dissidents that the government of President Raul Castro had promised to release in a deal brokered by the Roman Catholic Church.

The majority were released after agreeing to exile in Spain. But the remainder have refused to leave Cuban soil.

The deadlock was broken last week with the release of two of the dissidents who were granted permission to remain in Cuba. But one, Angel Moya, refused to accept the deal while other dissidents remained in jail.

Nine of the dissidents, including Maseda and Moya, currently remain in prison.

compiled from agency reports