Cuba’s government pardoned 3,522 prisoners, the most since the 1959 revolution, as a gesture of goodwill ahead of Pope Francis’s visit to the communist island, the official daily Granma said Friday.

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“On the occasion of the visit by His Holiness Pope Francis, the Council of State of the Republic of Cuba (the highest governmental body)… agreed to pardon 3,522 prisoners, chosen due to the nature of the acts for which they were jailed, their behavior in prison, the time of punishment and health concerns,” the newspaper said.

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