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Asylum-Seekers Quit Havana Occupation of Belgian Facility

July 02, 1994|Times Wire Services

HAVANA — The last of 124 asylum-seekers have ended an occupation of the Belgian ambassador's residence in Havana, nearly ending a crisis for diplomats in the Cuban capital.

The last 16 asylum seekers left Thursday, Luis Garcia Peraza, subdirector for Europe at the Cuban Foreign Ministry, told the official Prensa Latina news agency.

The 124 Cubans, who had vowed to die before leaving, raided the ambassador's residence May 28. In following weeks, about 21 people invaded the German Embassy and eight forced their way into the Chilean consulate.

Those in the Chilean mission later left, but the German Embassy remains occupied.

Cuba has been adamant that people entering diplomatic premises illegally will not leave the country in this way. Officials toughened their stance 10 days ago, saying people who forced their way into a diplomatic mission would not be able to leave in any way.

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