Cuban dissidents in Spain receive U.S. visas
- Submitted by: manso
- 02 / 15 / 2011
Madrid, Feb 14 (EFE).- Five Cuban ex-political prisoners living in Spain since last July have received authorization to move to the United States, dissident sources told Efe.
Omar Ruiz, Juan Adolfo Fernandez and Jorge Luis Gonzalez Tanquero are now traveling to Miami, and in the coming days Fidel Suarez and Antonio Villareal plan to follow them. All are "Group of 75" dissidents jailed by the Cuban government in March 2003.
The United States Embassy in Madrid granted visas and residence permits allowing them to live in the United States.
These dissidents have had to cancel their applications for asylum in Spain in order to recover their passports and obtain authorization to leave for the United States, paying for their own air tickets, the sources said.
They will join Arturo Perez de Alejo, the first of the Cuban opposition to move to Miami, which he did at the end of September.
Of the 56 ex-political prisoners admitted to Spain since last summer, another two have gone to other countries - Jose Ubaldo Izquierdo, who went to Chile, and Rolando Jimenez, to the Czech Republic.
A score of ex-prisoners and their families that applied to move several months ago are waiting for decisions to be taken on their applications for U.S. residence permits.
Among other documents, the applicants need a guarantee from families or friends living in the United States that they will answer for them economically.
Another four Cuban prisoners - Victor Jesus Hechavarria, Osmel Arevalos, Alexis Borges and Rodrigo Gelacio Santos - are expected to arrive in Spain in the coming days, as part of the accord between President Raul Castro's government and the Havana Archdiocese with the support of the Spanish government.
The initial accord was to free the 52 members of the Group of 75 that were still in prison as of last June, of whom seven remain in jail after Hector Maseda and Angel Moya were released last Saturday. EFE