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IN BRIEF/CUBA

U.S. Refuses to Remove Christmas Lights Display

December 16, 2004|From Times Wire Reports

The United States rejected Cuba's demand to remove Christmas lights in front of its mission in Havana, saying the display shows solidarity with local prisoners of conscience.

Cuba threatened retaliation, but State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said the mission "has put up decorations like this, Christmas tree lights, for years, and we do not plan on taking down our holiday decorations until the holidays are over."

The display includes a "75" -- a reference to pro-democracy activists imprisoned by Cuba.

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