March 5, 1997 in Nation/World

Peru Rebels Reject Idea Of Cuba Asylum

Compiled From Wire Services

Chanting “Resistance! Resistance to the end,” rebels holding 72 hostages rejected the idea Tuesday of going into exile in Cuba unless hundreds of their jailed comrades are freed.

Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori returned to Lima early Tuesday after a surprise stopover in Havana, where Cuban leader Fidel Castro said he would offer the leftist rebels asylum if asked to do so by mediators trying negotiate an end to the crisis.

But the rebels made clear the 11-week-old standoff was far from over in chants shouted over the radio.

“If there is no liberation, what is left to us? Resistance! Resistance to the end!” the rebels chanted in the radio transmission, monitored outside the Japanese ambassador’s residence they seized on Dec. 17.

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