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Cuban National Ballet Dancer, Husband Seek Asylum in Spain

August 5, 1990

MADRID, Spain (AP) _ A top ballerina with the Cuban National Ballet and her husband were granted political asylum in Spain, a police spokesman said Sunday.

It was the latest strain in relations between Spain and its former Caribbean colony, already tense over 18 Cubans being sheltered at Spain’s embassy in the Cuban capital of Havana.

The police spokesman at Madrid’s Barajas Airport, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed that dancer Dagmar Moradillo and her husband, Alfredo Rodriguez, sought and received provisional political asylum Saturday at the police station. Rodriguez is a ballet lighting designer with the company.

The conservative Madrid newspaper ABC also reported the defections. It said the dancer and her husband had arrived Saturday from the Spanish Mediterranean isle of Majorca, where the ballet company performed Friday.

In an interview with ABC, the 29-year-old dancer said she was concerned authorities may fire her mother from her job at a Havana hospital.

″Now begins the future, something that didn’t exist in Cuba,″ she told the paper. ″It’s a no-way-out situation there, no objectives or possibilities.

″That’s why we escaped ... we didn’t see a future for ourselves or the children we desire,″ she said.

The dancer and her husband told the paper they wanted to live in the United States. They have family in Miami, and the dancer believes she can continue her career. The couple joined the Cuban company in the mid-1970s.

The Spanish-Cuban diplomatic conflict began early last month when disgruntled Cubans began seeking refuge in foreign embassies in Havana.

The conflict is at a standstill, and Cuba continues to refuse to permit the asylum-seekers to leave the country, said a Spanish government spokesman, who was not identified in keeping with Foreign Ministry policy.

Spain refuses to expel the 18 from its embassy.

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