Cuba agrees to free political prisoners, journalist ends hunger strike

The Cuban government has said it will release 52 political prisoners, including opposition activists and journalists, The New York Times reported.

The news comes as Guillermo Fariñas, a dissident journalist who has been on a hunger strike for more than four months, is rapidly approaching death.

Fariñas, who began his hunger strike to call for the release of political prisoners on the island, on Thursday announced the end of the strike, according to BBC Mundo. “I promise, before my brothers, to get better," the journalist said in a statement quoted in La Vanguardia.

Blogger Yoani Sanchez and other friends of Fariñas were headed to visit him in the hospital Thursday.

The names of which political prisoners will be released has not been made public, the NYT article said.

This will be the largest release of political prisoners in recent Cuban history, according to CNN.

According to the Cuban Commission of Human Rights and National Reconciliation, there are 167 political prisoners on the island, the least amount since the revolution in 1959.

Still, in a new report, Amnesty International accuses Cuba of creating a "climate of terror" for journalists and dissidents.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.