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New York Lawyer Negotiates with Castro over Cuban Prisoners

Aug. 31, 1962 - New York lawyer James B. Donovan met with Premier Fidel Castro for four hours today and reported that their negotiations on the release of Cuban prisoners “are progressing.” Mr. Donovan came to Havana yesterday for talks with the Castro government about the release more than 1,100 remaining prisoners taken in the abortive invasion at the Bay of Pigs in April 1961. Castro has asked ransoms totaling $62 million for the prisoners, who are locked inside Principe Castle, a colonial fort in Havana, and on the Isle of Pines. Sources said Mr. Donovan planned to offer the Castro regime part cash, part goods in exchange for the captives. They said the government had appeared receptive toward a formula offering hospital equipment, mechanical parts, and foodstuffs.

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