Castro Offers to Swap Dissidents for Spies

BRASILIA, Brazil — Cuban President Raul Castro has offered to exchange political dissidents in his country for five Cubans jailed in the U.S. on espionage convictions.

Castro also repeated his government's willingness to discuss the U.S. embargo against Cuba with incoming President Barack Obama.

Castro made his remarks Thursday after meeting with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on his first official visit outside of Cuba.

Answering a question about political prisoners in Cuba, Castro said: "We will send those prisoners you talk about (to the United States) with their families. But give us back our five heroes."

He was referring to the "Cuban Five," who were convicted in 2001 on espionage charges and considered heroes in Cuba.

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