Spanish agents expelled from Cuba
Cuba has expelled Spanish intelligence agents who were tracking members of the Basque separatist group ETA on the communist island.Madrid – Cuba has expelled Spanish intelligence agents who were tracking members of the Basque separatist group ETA on the communist island, a Spanish newspaper said Thursday.
The daily El Mundo said a team of agents was sent to Cuba to observe ETA members living on the island.
They were there only "a few days" when the authorities asked them to leave last Friday, the paper said.
"The main problem was that no one had informed Cuba of their arrival," and the agents had to work alongside a team of Spain's CNI national intelligence agency which was already in place there in agreement with Havana, it said.
Neither the Spanish defence ministry, which oversees the CNI, nor the foreign ministry would comment on the report.
Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos confirmed to reporters during a visit to Bosnia that some agents had left the island, but that it was part of a routine "changeover" of personnel and would not affect relations between the two countries.
Since coming to power in 2004, Spain's Socialist government has promoted a policy of constructive engagement towards Cuba, a former Spanish colony.
Moratinos made a ground-breaking visit to Cuba in April 2007, the first by an EU foreign minister since the bloc imposed sanctions on the island in 2003.
Last week, he met his Cuban counterpart, Bruno Rodriguez, for the first time in Prague.
Rodriguez's predecessor, Felipe Perez Roque, who had held the post for a decade, was fired in March by President Raul Castro.
ETA has killed 825 people in Spain in its 41-year campaign of bombings and shootings for an independent Basque homeland in parts of northern Spain and south-western France.
AFP / Expatica