Cuban dissidents consider their options

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Cuban dissidents consider their options

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A further two Cuban dissidents have arrived in Spain as part of a prisoner release deal struck between Havana and the Catholic Church.

Seven political dissidents and their families who arrived on Tuesday are holding meetings with officials to decide the details of their future lives in exile.

One woman said on euronews that she was happy to see her husband released from jail, but it was painful to leave behind her homeland.

So far 20 out of 52 prisoners released in Cuba have taken up Spain’s offer of exile.

Asked what he thought about settling in a country going through tough economic times, dissident Julio Cesar Galvez said every country was in the same boat. “On the question of whether we stay here in Spain, go to Miami or somewhere else, regardless of the meeting we have today, there will have to be consensus among all of us,” he added.

Cuba’s government took the world by surprise when it agreed last week to free activists arrested and jailed after a crackdown in 2003.

But released dissident Pablo Pacheco said: “I don’t like to speculate about the end of the (Cuban) regime or see this as a sign of weakness for the regime. I think Raul Castro can change things in Cuba because he has the power to do it.”

Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro, who was president when the dissidents were jailed, did not mention the prisoner release when he appeared in a TV interview earlier this week.