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Freed Cuban Dissidents Arrive in Spain


Freed Cuban prisoner Orlando Fundora Alvarez (R) is greeted by an unidentified Cuban after arriving at a hostel in Madrid, Apr 8 2011

Freed Cuban prisoner Orlando Fundora Alvarez (R) is greeted by an unidentified Cuban after arriving at a hostel in Madrid, Apr 8 2011

The Spanish government says a plane carrying 37 former political prisoners from Cuba and more than 200 members of their families has arrived in Madrid.

It was the largest group of Cuban dissidents to arrive in Spain since Madrid facilitated an agreement with Cuba and the Catholic Church last year to free 75 dissidents arrested in a 2003 crackdown.

The flight was chartered by the Spanish government and brings the number of Cuban ex-detainees given refuge in Spain to 115.

Opposition groups say a number of political prisoners remain in Cuba. Havana has long maintained that it does not hold political prisoners, only "mercenaries" who were working with the United States to undermine Cuban communism.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

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