Spaniards who fled Franco get taste of home

4th March 2005, Comments 0 comments

4 March 2005, MADRID - The government of Spain is inviting more than 200 elderly Cubans, most of them Spanish-born, on an all-expenses-paid trip to get reacquainted with the motherland.

4 March 2005

MADRID - The government of Spain is inviting more than 200 elderly Cubans, most of them Spanish-born, on an all-expenses-paid trip to get reacquainted with the motherland.

Spain's Labour and Social Ministry is picking up most of the bill, though the travellers are paying EUR 19.60 apiece.

Among the 225 elderly people flying to Spain this year are two who are over 90 and five over 80.

One of the travellers is Aurea Matilde Fernandez Muñiz, who was born in Spain's Asturias region in 1929 and is a history professor at the University of Havana.

Fernandez Muñiz, who is well known among Cuban students because she teaches a course on Spanish history on state-run TV, arrived in Cuba with her mother and three brothers in 1937, after her father, a Republican teacher, was killed in the Spanish Civil War.

Aurea went back to Spain for the first time in 1992 and since then has returned several times, but has no plans to go live in Asturias, because "I couldn't leave four children, 12 grandchildren and one great-grandchild," she said.

Also going on this trip is Malaga native Ricardo Diez Diez, 87, along with his Cuban wife, Aida del Rio Gonzalez, 66.

Ricardo, who arrived in Cuba with his family in 1927, paid Spain a "wondrous" first visit in 1998 and now wants to share another with his wife.

In Cuba, the programme was first conducted in 1994 and the number of travellers has steadily increased, from the 93 who made up the first group to 247 last year.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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