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Castro to Release Relatives of Bay of Pigs Prisoners

Dec. 24, 1962 - Premier Fidel Castro has cleared the way for more than 1,000 Cuban relatives of liberated Bay of Pigs prisoners to join them in the U.S., attorney James B. Donovan said today. The Cuban premier called it a Christmas bonus in his swap of the 1,113 invasion captives for $53 million worth of food and medicine. Arrangements were being made for the relatives — mothers, fathers, wives, and children of the released prisoners — to leave the Caribbean island within 48 hours. The 460-foot freighter African Pilot, which brought the first installment of the food and drug ransom to Cuba, was being outfitted to take the human cargo aboard in a return mercy mission. Mr. Donovan, who negotiated the liberation of the prisoners, said the ship had a water supply for the 12-hour voyage. Mr. Donovan plans to round up medical personnel and take them to Cuba to care for the women and children leaving on the African Pilot.


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