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European Governments Demand Explanation From Cuba

Arnold Vaatz speaks to journalists at Madrids Barajas airport after being expelled from Cuba along with Czech Senator Karel Schwarzenberg

Italy and Spain are the latest European countries seeking explanations of Cuba's expulsion of lawmakers and the detention of journalists ahead of a dissident assembly.

Spain and Italy Friday called in Cuba's ambassadors to Rome and Madrid following the expulsion of an Italian journalist and two Spanish politicians. Earlier this week, the German, Czech and Polish foreign ministries summoned Cuban diplomats, demanding similar explanations.

More than 200 Cuban dissidents attended the opposition assembly on Friday. The dissidents chanted "down with Fidel Castro" and listened to a message from President Bush, who said the United States will stand by Cubans as they struggle for freedom.

The dissidents are seeking democratic reforms after decades of Communist rule under Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

Some information for this report provided by AP.