Veteran Cuban dissident released from jail

Veteran dissident attorney Rene Gomez Manzano, who helped organize an unprecedented gathering of opponents of the Cuban government two years ago, was unexpectedly released from prison after being held for 19 months without being charged. Gomez Manzano said Thursday he had little information about what had occurred in his country since he was jailed in July 2005, but didn't think Fidel Castro's illness, or the ceding of power to his brother Raul, influenced the release. "I'm inclined to think that it doesn't have anything to do with it," the white-haired 63-year-old said, looking pallid as a breeze wafted through the whitewashed living room through a wood-slat window. Despite his jailing, Gomez Manzano, an opponent of Castro's rule since the 1980s, said he would continue his activism and said officials imposed no conditions on his release.