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Cuban leader was dismissive of the arrests of the US citizens for allegedly being spies
Castro has shaped the last 50 years of Cuba's historyA review of Fidel Castro's colourful presidency and the history of antagonism between the US and the west's first communist state.  Full Story

Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro has dismissed the arrests of two US citizens for spying on behalf of Cuba as "ridiculous".

Last week, two American citizens, both in their 70s, were arrested by the FBI for passing on information to Cuban authorities for 30 years.

The US justice department said 72-year-old Walter Myers, a former state department official, and his wife, 71, were accused of passing on acting as illegal agents and committing wire fraud in the US.

In his editorial on a Cuban website, Fidel Castro admitted to meeting with the pair in Mexico in 1995 but was coy about whether they had been working for the Cuban government.

He wrote: "At the time I met with thousands of North Americans for different reasons, both individually and in groups ... so I can hardly be asked to remember details of a meeting with just two people," he wrote.

Mr Castro said the incident resembled a "Cuban espionage comic strip", adding that if people acted to help the people of Cuba they should be rewarded.

"Those who in one form or another have helped to protect the Cuban people from the terrorist plans and assassination plots organized by various U.S. administrations have done so at the initiative of their own conscience and are deserving, in my judgment, of all the honors in the world," he added.

The arrests come at a time of engagement between the US and Cuba after the latter's ban on membership of the Organisation of American States was lifted.


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