The 20 Cuban dissidents being released are part of the Castro regime’s commitment to free 52 imprisoned since 2003 under an agreement with the Spanish government and the Catholic Church.
He did not identify the prisoners but said all were traveling of their own free will. “They are all coming to Spain because they want to — it is important to say that,” Mr. Moratinos said. “No one is coming to Spain against their will.”
The foreign minister said the freed dissidents would be issued Spanish work and residency permits within three to four months, and asked that Spaniards and Cubans show understanding about the slow nature of bureaucracy.
“I’m not asking for gratitude, but for a bit of understanding by all those who have received a commitment from this government and all of Spanish society to help them in this new phase in their lives,” he said.
Mr. Moratinos spoke during a visit to Kazakhstan in an interview broadcast on Cadena Ser’s website Sunday.