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Cuban political prisoners arrive to Spain
Four Cuban political prisoners freed by Havana arrived in Spain on Sunday, a Spain-based Cuban dissident told AFP.

They comprise trade unionist Pedro Pablo Alvarez Ramos, dissident Omar Pernet Hernandez and independent journalists Jose Gabriel Ramon Castillo and Alejandro Gonzalez Raga.

They arrived at 1315 GMT at a military airport in Torrejon, near Madrid, after flying on board a Spanish air force plane, said Ernesto Gutierrez, the secretary general of the Spanish Federation of Cuban Associations.

Gutierrez said that Spanish authorities had given him information on the arrivals. When contacted by AFP, the foreign ministry declined to comment.

He added that the four Cubans, which he said were suffering serious health problems, would be given medical examinations and would then address the media on Sunday or Monday.

Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos had said last Friday that seven political prisoners would be freed, with four set to come to Spain to rejoin their families.

The three other prisoners are expected to travel to the United States, but their final destination is not yet decided, according to Cuban sources in Spain.

They were all arrested as part of a crackdown in 2003, which saw 75 dissidents arrested and condemned to prison terms of up to 26 years.

Press freedom group Reporters Without Borders said there were 24 journalists locked up in Cuba at the end of 2007, out of a total of 234 political prisoners.

The releases announced on Friday in Madrid came a few days after a meeting in the Spanish capital between Cuban and Spanish diplomats on the question of human rights in Cuba.


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