The Andean Pact countries agreed on Thursday (10 April) to give asylum to some of the 10 thousand Cubans who are crowded together in Peru's embassy in Havana.
CU: Newspaper headlines in Lima with Portrait of Castor saying 'Only Castro is not at the Embassy'
CU: Other newspaper headlines saying 'Andrea Council in Lima will examine the case of the Cubans and 200 Cubans in the Peruvian Embassy" (2 shots)
GV PAN FROM: Foreign Ministry building
SV: Peruvian Foreign Minster Arturo Garcia into car and leaving building
GV: Soviet Aeroflot aircraft on tarmac with passengers boarding and cargo being loaded (4 shots)
GV PAN ACROSS: Street scene TO Government Palace in Lima
LV PAN: Cuban embassy in Lima PAN DOWN TO Red Cross volunteers entering Red Cross car
GV ZOOM OUT: From Police car TO Red Cross car
GV PAN FROM: Flag on Cuban embassy roof in Lima TO embassy sign and armed police guards outside. (2 shots)
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Background: The Andean Pact countries agreed on Thursday (10 April) to give asylum to some of the 10 thousand Cubans who are crowded together in Peru's embassy in Havana. Foreign Ministers of the Andean group - Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia and Peru - issued a joint statement after a meeting in Lima denouncing Cuba for creating the problem and demanding that President Fidel Castro's government find a solution.
SYNOPSIS: The Peruvian capital of Lima has been the centre of political reaction since the vast crowds of Cuban refugees started flooding into Peru's embassy in Havana six days ago (4 April). The Cubans have appealed to various countries to grant them asylum.
After a ten-hour emergency meeting at the Foreign Minister, Arturo Garcia, said Peru would grand asylum to one-thousand Cubans. He also confirmed that other Andean countries had agreed to take an unspecified number of emigrants.
Reports from Lima airport said huge crates bearing Cuban diplomatic markings were put on a Havana-bound Soviet airliner on Tuesday (9 April). One crate bore the name of the Cuban consul, Ricardo Cruz. The reports said the Cuban Ambassador to Peru, Luis Karakadze, had left for home on Saturday (5 April). The Peruvian Foreign Minister, however, ruled out a break of relations with Cuba. He said Peru's main priority was the human aspect of the crisis.
The Peruvian Red Cross has called on the International Red Cross for help. It said the Peruvian people were concerned at the desperate situation of the Havana refugees because of lack of water, food and medicine. But the International Red Cross says it's doubtful that it would intervene as it wasn't a conflict situation. Meanwhile, President Fidel Castro has said the embassy refugees are free to leave Cuba as soon as other countries offer them visas.