The Council of State of the Republic of Cuba, on the occasion of the visit of His Holiness Pope Francis, and in line with measures taken on the previous visits of Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, agreed to pardon 3,522 prisoners, taking into account the nature of the offenses for which individuals were punished, their behavior in prison, the length of sentences and health reasons.
Among those pardoned are people aged over 60, those under 20 with no previous criminal record, the chronically ill, women, many who have were due to meet the time limit established for parole in 2016, some of those serving a sentence on work release programs, as well as foreigners, provided that their country of origin guarantees repatriation.
Aside from a few exceptions for humanitarian reasons, those convicted of murder, homicide, rape, pederasty with violence, corruption of minors, theft and illegal slaughter of cattle, drug trafficking, violent and aggravated robbery, or those having committed crimes against state security, are not included among those pardoned.
This decision will take effect in 72 hours. In the case of foreigners, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will coordinate with the accredited diplomatic missions in Cuba of those countries whose nationals were beneficiaries of the pardon, regarding their definitive departure.
The Interior Ministry will coordinate with the ministries of Labor and Social Security and Public Health, and the respective Municipal Assemblies of People's Power and the Special Municipality of the Isla de la Juventud, regarding the necessary measures for the social rehabilitation and medical care of those pardoned as required.