Groups of Cubans from among the ten thousand crammed into the Peruvian Embassy in Havana have been arriving in the United States and Peru.
FLORIDA: SV Cuban refugees along corridor at Miami airport
CU Relatives embracing each other (2 shots)
CU Elderly male refugee weeping as he is embraced by overjoyed family
PERU: GV Guards on gates of refugee camp in Lima park
SV Guards open gates to allow Red Cross vehicle with supplies into camp
CU PAN FROM Journalists entering TO Temporary refugee accommodation
SV Journalists passing refugee man and child sitting on grass
CU Refugees sorting through clothes
CU Mother nursing sick child in tent
CU PAN FROM Refugee children TO Woman being interviewed in Spanish
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Background: Groups of Cubans from among the ten thousand crammed into the Peruvian Embassy in Havana have been arriving in the United States and Peru. Spain, the United States and five South American countries have agreed to grant asylum to some of the Cubans who are seeking escape from unfavourable economic conditions and unemployment caused by a diseased tobacco harvest and sugar crop.
SYNOPSIS: Cubans arriving in Miami on Monday (21 April) were the first to reach the United States legally since Cuban evacuation flights began. The refugees flew into Florida from Costa Rica which has been serving as a staging post for their transfer to other countries. On Saturday (19 April) however cuba called off the so-called `freedom bridge airlift to Costa Rica and said that in future the dissidents at Havana's Peruvian Embassy would have to go directly to their final destinations. United States representatives in Costa Rica have been screening potential Cuban immigrants. Up to 35-hundred refugees will be admitted to American but priority will be given to those with relatives in the United States and those who want to leave Cuba for political reasons.
In Peru, a sixty-nine acre (28 hectares) park near the centre of Lima has been set aside to accommodate Cuba refugees until permanent housing for them can be found. Peru has agreed to take one thousand Cubans and several hundred already have arrived. Red Cross volunteers have set up eighty tents in the park; seventy to house the refugees, and ten to provide canteen services.
Peru is giving resettlement priority to Cubans who already have relatives living there, and to families with children. At an extraordinary meeting of the Andean Pact countries on the 10th of April, member states agreed to take an unspecified number of the refugees, but appealed to other countries to share the burden. Andean foreign ministers later issued a joint statement denouncing Cuba for creating the problem and demanding that President Fidel Castro's government find a solution.
Many of the Cuban refugees now in Lima are appealing to US consular officials for American visas. Some say they have families in the United States while others claim they do not want to live in what they describe as under-developed countries.