Nine of the 11 Jamaicans incarcerated in Cuba have been granted pardons and will return to their homeland in a few days.
They are among the 3,522 prisoners which the Cuban government announced it would release in a goodwill gesture ahead of Pope Francis’ visit this weekend.
Jamaica’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade said it recognizes, “with appreciation”, that gesture.
The nine Jamaicans who will be released include eight men and one woman who were held for various offences, including drug possession and trafficking. Minimum sentences handed down for such crimes start at 10 years and can exceed 25 years.
Their names were not released.
The ministry said it worked with the Jamaican Embassy in Havana to assist the pardoned prisoners and their families in the requisite procedures and formalities for the return to Jamaica.
The Jamaicans are scheduled to begin departing Havana in short order, the statement from the ministry said.