Spain receive 37 more Cuban ex-political prisoners

Associated Press
Freed Cuban prisoner Orlando Fundora Alvarez, left and his wife Yolanda, centre are greeted by other unidentified Cubans after arriving at a hostel in Madrid Friday April 8, 2011. A total of 37 former Cuban political prisoners and more than 200 relatives arrived Friday in Madrid in the largest such exodus since Spain started accepting such people last summer.Cuba has freed 75 dissidents rounded up in 2003, under an agreement reached between Cuban President Raul Castro and Havana Cardinal Jaime Ortega. Spain facilitated that accord.  (AP Photo/Paul White)
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A total of 37 Cuban ex-political prisoners and more than 200 relatives arrived Friday in Madrid in the largest such exodus since Spain started accepting dissidents last summer.

The Foreign Ministry said 245 people arrived on an overnight flight from Havana on a plane chartered by the Spanish government.

Cuba has freed 75 dissidents rounded up in 2003, under an agreement reached between Cuban President Raul Castro and Havana Cardinal Jaime Ortega. Spain facilitated that accord.

So far Spain has accepted 40 of those dissidents since last July. Friday's group is separate from the 75, except for one man.

A ministry statement said that altogether, Spain has taken in 115 former prisoners from Cuba and Friday's arrival ends the process.

The ministry would not say where the Cubans will be housed and they were not immediately reachable.

It said charities will take charge of moving them around the country.

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