Military guards at the Combinado del Este prison in Havana, Cuba in 2013.
Franklin Reyes—AP
January 7, 2015 10:12 PM EST

The Cuban government freed three detainees Wednesday in the latest sign of thawing relations between Havana and longtime foe the U.S.

The released trio are believed to be on a list of 53 political prisoners Washington wants to see freed in the socialist Caribbean island-state, Reuters reports.

Cuba has pledged to release all 53 as part of a deal to renew diplomatic relations between the two countries.

According to Cuban human rights activists, the government released 19-year-old Diango Vargas and twin brother Bianco Vargas Martin who were arrested in Dec. 2012 and sentenced to 30 months in prison for threatening a state official and disorderly conduct.

Activists said another man, Enrique Figuerola Miranda, was also freed.

All three were members of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) opposition group.


More Must-Reads From TIME

Write to Helen Regan at

You May Also Like