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Raúl Castro had a testy response after a reporter confronted him about Cuba's political prisoners

Raul Castro Barack Obama
Raul Castro Barack Obama

(REUTERS/Carlos Barria)
Cuban President Raúl Castro answers a question during a news conference, with US President Barack Obama as part of Obama's three-day visit to Cuba, in Havana on March 21.

CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta had a tense exchange with Cuban President Raúl Castro on Monday over political prisoners in Cuba.

At a press conference, Acosta asked Castro about whether Cuba would release its political prisoners. Acosta noted that he has Cuban heritage.

Castro, a former Cuban revolutionary, seemed incredulous.

"Did you ask if we had political prisoners?" Castro asked back.

Acosta replied: "I wanted to know if you have Cuban political prisoners and why you don't release them."

Castro then got defensive.

"Give me a list of the political prisoners and I will release them immediately," Castro said.

He continued:

Just mention a list. What political prisoners? Give me a name or names or when, after this meeting is over, you can give me a list of political prisoners and if we have those political prisoners they will be released before tonight ends.

Cuba, a communist country, still holds political prisoners, according to a 2015 report from Human Rights Watch.

"Cubans who criticize the government continue to face the threat of criminal prosecution," according to the report. "They do not benefit from due process guarantees, such as the right to fair and public hearings by a competent and impartial tribunal."

The press conference with Castro was part of US President Barack Obama's landmark visit to Cuba, the first for a US president in 88 years. The US agreed to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba in late 2014.

Here's video of the exchange:

This what happened when CNN's @acosta confronted Raul Castro w/ political prisoner questions. #FreePress https://t.co/4WraBSg5PQ

— Steven Cejas (@StevenCejas) March 21, 2016

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