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Fidel, Raul Castro Lead Protest Against EU's Cuba Policy

June 13, 2003|From Reuters

HAVANA — President Fidel Castro and his brother, Raul, led hundreds of thousands of marchers Thursday past the Spanish and Italian embassies in Cuba's capital to protest the European Union's hardening position toward the Communist island.

Fidel Castro, in a four-hour TV appearance Wednesday, blamed Spain and Italy for the 15-member EU's decision last week to end high-level visits to the Caribbean island, reduce cultural exchanges and invite government opponents to members' Havana embassies. The EU was responding to Havana's crackdown on dissidents in April.

The 76-year-old Castro, dressed in his traditional military garb, led the marchers at the Spanish Embassy in the old colonial district. Raul Castro, defense minister and second in the Cuban hierarchy, led the march at Italy's diplomatic mission in the upscale district of Miramar.

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