Cuban opposition figure Espinosa Chepe dies in Madrid

Madrid, Sep 23 (EFE).- Cuban opposition figure Oscar Espinosa Chepe died here Monday of chronic liver problems, sources close to the family confirmed to Efe. He was 72.

Chepe, one of the "Group of 75" dissidents jailed in Cuba in 2003, died at a hospital in the Madrid suburb of Cercedilla where he had been receiving medical care since late August.

The dissident, economist and journalist came to the Spanish capital on March to be treated for the liver ailment from which he suffered.

On the day after his arrival he was admitted to the capital's Puerta de Hierro Hospital and, since then, he had gone into the medical center repeatedly because of his delicate state of health, his wife, Mirian Leiva, told Efe last month.

Espinosa Chepe, a former government economist, was sentenced to 20 years in prison during Cuba's 2003 "Black Spring" crackdown on dissidents but released in November 2004 on medical grounds.

He and his wife declined to join the 2010 exodus of dissidents to Spain and Espinosa Chepe only agreed to travel to Madrid for medical care after receiving assurances that they would be allowed to return to Cuba, Leiva told Efe last month.

After his release from prison he devoted himself to writing articles and analyses of the Cuban economic and socio-political situation which were published in assorted newspapers and magazines around the world.

In 2003, he published his book "Cronica de un desastre" in Spain. Four years later he came out with "Cuba, revolucion o involucion," and finally "Cambios en Cuba: pocos, limitados y tardios" in 2011.