Uruguay set to take six Guantanamo prisoners

Image source, AP
Image caption,
President Mujica said Uruguay was offering its hospitality to "human beings who have suffered a terrible kidnapping in Guantanamo Bay"

Uruguay's President Jose Mujica has confirmed his country will resettle six Guantanamo Bay prisoners on humanitarian grounds.

President Mujica was himself held for over a decade in terrible prison conditions during his country's period of military rule in the 1970s and 80s.

An October opinion poll showed 58% of Uruguayans were opposed to bringing in the prisoners.

Newspaper reports say they are expected to arrive by Tuesday morning.

The arrival date for the prisoners was not confirmed by President Mujica.

He also called on the United States to release three Cuban prisoners held in United States jails on spying charges.

He also called for the release of a Puerto Rican detainee held for more than 30 years on conspiracy charges for demanding the island's independence from the US.

He made the decision to take detainees from Guantanamo in March but the move was delayed until after the elections in November.

Former President Tabare Vazquez, who led the country from 2005 to 2010, won in the second round of presidential elections and is due to start his new mandate next March.

More than half of the 172 men still in Guantanamo have been cleared for transfer but have nowhere to go because their countries are unstable or unsafe.

More than 50 countries have accepted former Guantanamo detainees.

In Latin America, El Salvador is the only country to have given Guantanamo prisoners sanctuary, taking two in 2012.

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