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6 Dec, 2014 17:51

Uruguay's Mujica repeats offer to take in ‘kidnapped’ Gitmo prisoners

Uruguay's Mujica repeats offer to take in ‘kidnapped’ Gitmo prisoners

The Uruguayan president has restated his offer to assume responsibility for six detainees at Guantanamo Bay detention center, while urging the White House to end the decades-long embargo on Cuba.

In an open letter published on his presidential website, Uruguayan President Jose Mujica called on President Barack Obama release the prisoners at Guantanamo, many who are being held without any charges, saying it would be a humanitarian gesture for "human beings who were suffering an atrocious kidnapping at Guantanamo."

Mujica initially made the offer in March that the South American country would receive the detainees, thus helping Obama fulfill his long-delayed pledge to shutter the facility, which Amnesty International once dubbed, “the Gulag of our times.”

AFP Photo / Mladen Antonov / Files

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He also pushed for an end to the 62-year economic embargo on Cuba, the communist island that has given Washington a headache since at least 1961 when former Cuban president Fidel Castro announced communist rule.

In his "open letter to the Uruguayan people and President Barack Obama," the popular leftist leader called on Washington to end its "unjust and unjustifiable embargo on our sister republic of Cuba."

He also called upon Washington to release the three members of the so-called "Cuban Five," a group convicted of espionage in 1998, as well as Puerto Rican nationalist Oscar Lopez Rivera.

Mujica, a former guerrilla himself, has said he sympathizes with the ordeal of the 142 prisoners languishing at Guantanamo Bay because of the 13 years he spent as a political prisoner.