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US officials in Miami to apologize to Cuban cardinal

.- US officials are expected to present an official apology to Cardinal Jaime Ortega Alamino of Havana, Cuba, after the Vatican voiced concern over the cardinal’s detention by authorities at Miami International Airport. According to El Nuevo Herald, Cardinal Ortega was questioned about the reasons for his visit and his political views on Fidel Castro's government. When he objected to a search of his luggage, the newspaper reported, Ortega was threatened with possible deportation.

The Herald added that US officials were concerned over the weekend about the possible repercussions of the incident.

Cardinal Ortega was eventually granted a 30-day visa and allowed to leave the airport.

Similar incidents have occurred in the past at Miami’s airport.  In April of last year, Spanish Prince Felipe de Borbon and his girlfriend had their luggage searched despite their diplomatic passports and the protests of their security detail.

Another incident occurred on January 14 of this year.  The Chancellor of Argentina, Rafael Bielsa, was detained in Miami after complaining about the seven-hour long delay of his flight from New York to Miami.  According to Argentinean consul Gregorio Dupont, the questioning Bielsa was subjected to was characterized by “an ignorance of diplomatic protocol and unusual rudeness.”

In both cases US officials issued apologies.


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April 24, 2014

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