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[REF: Washington Post December 27, 1962 page A-16]

23 Americans Held by Castro May Be Freed

U.S. officials were increasingly optimistic yesterday that 23 Americans long held in Cuban jails may be released.

The optimism was based on reports from lawyer James B. Donovan, who arranged for the return of the Cuban invasion prisoners.  Premier Fidel Castro has promised to discuss early release of the Americans too.

Washington informants said the U.S. Government is also pressing for release of Americans through the Swiss Embassy in Havana.  The Swiss represent U.S. interests in the absence of diplomatic relations between Washington and Havana.

The imprisoned Americans, who were not in the Bay of Pigs invasion force, have been held on a variety of charges, both political and criminal.

State Department press officer Lincoln White said Donovan is "acting as a humanitarian to get people out of jail," but is not a U.S. Government representative.

The Government took a similar stand on Donovan's activities in connection with the release of Cuban invasion prisoners.  The Kennedy Administration supported the prisoner release effort back-stage, but it has shunned direct dealings with Castro.

Available Washington sources said they did not know of any ransom price demanded by Castro for the American prisoners.

The State Department yesterday released the following list of 23 Americans held in Cuban prisons, with their sentences:

Tommy L. Baker. Dothan, Ala, 30 years.
James R. Beans, Franklinville, N.C., 30 years
George R. Beck, Norton, Mass, 30 years
Leslie Bradley Minneapolis, 10 years
Daniel Carswell [Careswell], no home town, 10 years
Eustace Danbrunt, no home town, 10 years
Rafael Del Pino, Miami 30 years
Robert John Gentile, Cleveland, 10 years
Alford E. Gibson, Mount Gilead, N.C., 30 years
Donald Joe Greene, Clover, S.C., 30 years
Juan Pedro Koop, Cuba, 20 years
Peter John Lambton, Nassau, Bahamas, 25 years
John V. Martino, Miami Beach, 13 years
Richard Allen Pecorato, Staten Island, N.Y. 30 years
Dario Prohias Bello, wife in Cuba, mother lives in Jemez Springs, N.M., 10 years
Leonard L. Schmidt, no home town, 30 years
Edmund Taransky, no home town, 10 years
Austin F. Young, Jr., Palm Beach, Fla., 30 years
Martha O'Neal, Orlando, Fla, awaiting sentence
Howard T. Rundquist, San Antonio, Tex, awaiting sentence
Jack O'Jalvo, awaiting sentence cousin in Los Angeles
Ramon Williams, Cuba, 2 years
Alberto German Sanchez, Cuba, 12 years

United press International reported that John Martino, a former Castro prisoner, now living in Miami Beach, had compiled his own list of Americans held by Castro, giving the following home towns for prisoners, without addresses in the State Department list: Carswell, Syracuse, N.Y.; Danbrunt, Baltimore; Schmidt, Chicago, and Taransky, Boston.

The State Department said its list might be out of date and that the Martino on its list might be the John Martino living in Florida, UPI said.

Howard L. Rundquist, listed among the 23, has been in the United States since last June 19, his mother said in San Antonio last night Dorothy L. Rundquist said her son is in Miami, UPI reported.  She said she talked with him by phone two days ago and that he said he hoped he might visit her for Christmas although he has not arrived in San Antonio.  Rundquist is 37.  Mrs. Rundquist said he had been held in Cuban prisons for about two years.
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