Cuban dissidents arrive in exile at Madrid

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Cuban exile Manuel Ubals Gonzalez (r) greets poet Regis Iglesias (l) on his arrival in Madrid (17 August 2010)
Image caption,
The number of dissidents released into exile in Spain has reached 23

A group of three Cuban dissidents and their families released by Havana into exile in Spain have arrived in Madrid.

Some 23 dissidents have now been released over the last three months in a deal agreed between the government and the Catholic church last May.

Three more prisoners are due to leave Cuba for Madrid later this week, according to reports.

The Archbishop of Havana secured the release of 52 of some 75 dissidents arrested in March 2003.

On the flight to Madrid on Tuesday were 45-year-old doctor Marcelo Cano, poet Regis Iglesias, 40, and Efren Fernandez, 57, who had been on hunger strike.

Three more prisoners, two of them journalists, are due to be released on Thursday, it was reported.

Meanwhile, in Cuba, the mother of a dissident who died while on hunger strike has said she is being harassed by the government and its supporters, campaigners say.

Reina Luisa Tamayo, mother of Orlando Zapata Tamayo - who died in February - has been prevented from making regular protest marches in memory of her son in the southern town of Banes by large groups of government supporters, Amnesty International reports.