Former Cuban Prisoners in Spain Trying to Get on Welfare

HAVANA TIMES — Nearly 40 Cuban former political prisoners who were allowed residency in Spain have requested access to Renta Minima de Insercion (public welfare assistance), since their temporary government aid was terminated, reports the EFE news agency.

Those emigrants are turning to these public-support payments (amounting to around 500 euros a month) after the Popular Party government cut the program designed by the previous socialist administration to provide them transitional assistance.

The end of the program has forced these Cubans and their relatives to leave their previous rental housing units. Some have found places in shelters while others have set up camp in front of the main headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Madrid.

According to opposition sources, following the efforts of the Catholic Church to see the release of the prisoners, some of them and their relatives have requested to return to the island. The Cuban government, however, is not in favor of their return.