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1,500 Jailed Cubans to Be Repatriated as Prisons Braced

<i> From Associated Press</i>

An estimated 1,500 Cuban inmates in federal prisons will be repatriated, Justice Department officials said Tuesday, adding that they had taken steps to guard against rioting by prisoners angered by the move.

Guards locked down all 2,592 Cuban inmates in maximum- and medium-security federal prisons after telling them before dawn about the plans to send 1,500 back to Cuba, Justice Department spokesman Carl Stern said. Cubans in lesser security prisons were not locked down.

Stern said there are 4,500 Cuban prisoners in 37 federal facilities.

The only inmates to be sent home under the U.S.-Cuba agreement would be those who arrived in the 1980 Mariel boatlift and later committed serious crimes in America, Justice Department spokesman Carl Stern said.

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The prisoners who will be returned to Cuba will remain in segregation while the rest will be sent back to their cells.

The special precautions were taken to prevent uprisings that have occurred in the past among Cubans opposed to returning to their homeland, Stern said.


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