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US Asks Cubans To End Hunger Strike

July 14, 1999

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay (AP) _ The American Embassy in Uruguay asked two Cuban exiles staging a hunger strike on embassy grounds to cease their protest Tuesday.

The two men, Eugenio Pozo, 19, and Rual Olivera, 34, have chained themselves to the embassy building in hopes of being allowed to travel to the United Sates.

They are part of a group of 12 Cuban nationals who were relocated to Uruguay from Cuba’s Guantanamo Bay in April after attempting to flee the Carribean island.

A statement issued by the U.S. Embassy late Tuesday called on the two men ``to accept the chance Uruguay has offered″ as ``the only way″ to resolve the situation.

Seated atop a mattress and cloaked in wool blankets and the Cuban flag, Pozo entered the 35th day of his hunger strike Tuesday barely able to speak. Olivera joined Pozo 18 days after he began his sit-in.

The men are receiving medical check-ups every six hours and doctors have described their condition as stable. Although both men are refusing to be hospitalized, an emergency ambulance is parked nearby.

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