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Cuba briefs US officials on detained exiles

By The Associated Press

This article was published May 10, 2014 at 2:06 p.m.

— U.S. diplomats confirmed on Saturday that Cuban officials have given them some information about four Florida residents who were arrested on suspicion of preparing attacks against military installations on the island.

The U.S. Interests Section issued a statement confirming the May 8 meeting with representatives of the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It said, "The Cubans provided some information about the allegations which we are now reviewing."

Cuba's Interior Ministry has identified the men as Jose Ortega Amador, Obdulio Rodriguez Gonzalez, Raibel Pacheco Santos and Felix Monzon Alvarez. It said they were detained in late April for planning "terrorist actions" masterminded from Florida.

The Interior Ministry said the men were detained on April 26 for plotting to attack military installations, but released few specific details.

None of the four are well-known within the exile community in South Florida, but Cuba claimed they were acting on orders from others with a history of militancy, singling out Santiago Alvarez Fernandez Magrina, Osvaldo Mitat and Manuel Alzugaray in Miami.

Santiago Alvarez and Mitat pleaded guilty in 2006 in the United States to conspiracy after an informant tipped the FBI that a large cache of weapons, including machine guns and a grenade launcher, was being moved from apartments Alvarez owned.

Alvarez, however, denied involvement in any plot and said he did not know the detained men.

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