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Cuba has expelled a group of Spanish secret service agents who had come to investigate activities of members of the militant Basque separatist group ETA on the Caribbean island, the Madrid daily El Mundo reported.

The agents were ordered to leave, because they had not informed the Cuban authorities of their arrival a few days earlier, the daily quoted sources close to Spanish intelligence services as saying.

Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos, however, dismissed the departure of the agents as a simple change of personnel within the unit of Spain's National Intelligence Centre (CNI) in Cuba. It had no impact on the relations between Spain and Cuba, the minister said in Sarajevo.

Cuba has taken in ETA members on the basis of deportation agreements with Spain, but there have also been reports on the alleged non-official presence of ETA activists over the years.

Spain is concerned that ETA members living in Latin American countries could lend the group support from there. Cuba's former leader Fidel Castro estimated the number of ETA members on the island at half a dozen, but the real figure could surpass 20, according to El Mundo.

Source: Earth Times

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