Cuban dissidents call on EU to maintain stance

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Cuban dissidents call on EU to maintain stance

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Recently arrived in Spain, 11 freed Cuban political prisoners have called on the EU to push for all the remaining prisoners to be released.

They are among 52 to be freed under a deal agreed with Spain and the Catholic Church.

Their arrests in 2003 sparked a raft of EU sanctions:

“If they are not hostages, if they aren’t kept as a bargaining chip to press the EU for the modification of the “Common Position”, then set them free.” said one of them in Madrid.

Spain has offered the dissidents and their families a home.

But their joy at being released is tempered by disappointment that they are not free to choose where to settle.

Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos was in Cuba last week to meet to help broker the release with church leaders and Cuban President Raul Castro.

Nine more dissidents are due to arrive in Madrid on Tuesday.