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In shift, Colombia lets trapped Cubans seek asylum

January 11, 2014

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Six Cubans who have been stranded at Bogota’s international airport are being allowed to seek asylum in Colombia.

The country’s Foreign Ministry says the action follows a petition from the U.N. refugee agency. The six Cubans are being given a safe conduct pass for five days, during which they can apply for refugee status.

It said late Friday the six have already left the airport.

The Cubans tried to fly to Ecuador, but officials there did not let them enter. On a return flight stop in Colombia, they refused to board a plane for Havana and asked for asylum. The Colombian government at first refused to accept their petition on grounds they were merely in the airport transit area. Attention to the case mounted as they announced a hunger strike.

Update hourly