Cuban dissident Antonio Villarreal dies in Miami

Miami, Dec 30 (EFE).- Antonio Villarreal, a member of the "Group of 75" dissidents jailed by Cuba's Communist government in March 2003, died in Miami, El Nuevo Herald newspaper said Monday. He was 63.

Villarreal, who suffered the psychological consequences of his years behind bars in a Cuban prison, was found dead in his apartment in Little Havana. The causes of his passing have not been determined.

In July 2010, Villareal arrived in Madrid with a group of former prisoners who moved to Spain, and which included Ricardo Gonzalez, Lester Gonzalez, Omar Ruiz, Julio Cesar Galvez, Jose Luis Garcia Paneque and Pablo Pacheco, five days after the archbishop of Havana announced their release.

After remaining several months in Spain, the Cuban dissident decided to move to Miami, principal home of the Cuban exile.

During the "Black Spring" of 2003, the Communist government in Havana arrested a total of 75 dissidents and accused them of conspiring with the United States, among other crimes.

The last Group of 75 members were freed in March 2011 as part of a Spanish-supported dialogue between President Raul Castro and Cuba's Catholic hierarchy.

Fifty-two of the Group of 75 remained behind bars at the time of the agreement. While one died in prison in February 2010 after a prolonged hunger strike, the rest had been previously paroled on medical grounds.