HAVANA (Reuters) – Cuba will soon release one of 13 political prisoners who have rejected a government deal to leave the country in exchange for freedom, a family member said on Saturday.

Lidia Lima, wife of dissident Arnaldo Ramos Lauzurique, 68, told Reuters that Cuban Cardinal Jaime Ortega had called to give her the news and also informed her husband, who is in a Havana prison serving an 18-year sentence.

She said he would be staying in Cuba, in a concession by the Cuban government that may signal it will soon release all of the men.

"I'm very happy, I'm want him to be in his house," she said in a telephone interview, her voice breaking. A church spokesman could not be reached for comment.

The 13 men are those who remain in jail of 52 the government pledged to release in a deal with the Catholic Church announced on July 7. The church said the process would take three to four months, but did set a specific date.

The other 39 were freed earlier after agreeing to go live in exile in Spain, which is taking in the former prisoners.

All 52 were arrested in a 2003 crackdown on government opponents.

Laura Pollan, leader of the opposition group Ladies in White, said on Friday she had been advised by the church and European diplomats that the Cuban government had not backed out on its release pledge and "to have confidence" that it will free the men.

She said another prisoner, Diosdado Gonzalez, has been told he will be released within a month.

Her group had accused the government of failing to meet what they said was a November 7 deadline to let the 52 men go.

Cuba President Raul Castro promised to release the jailed dissidents in a move to defuse international criticism after the February death of imprisoned dissident Orlando Zapata Tamayo following an 85-day hunger strike.

Cuba views the dissidents as mercenaries for the United States, its longtime ideological foe, and therefore wanted them off the island.

In the meantime, the government has freed or agreed to free another 14 prisoners not included in the original 52. All of them have accepted the offer to go to Spain.

Cuba has told the church it wants to free all political prisoners, but there is disagreement on who qualifies.

(Source: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20101113/wl_nm/us_cuba_prisoners, Reporting by Rosa Tania Valdes; Editing by Jeff Franks and Anthony Boadle)