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Tuesday, 15 April 1980
Page: 1445

Senator CARRICK - Earlier today I was asked a question about Cuban refugees in the Peruvian Embassy. It has been indicated to me that the Department of Foreign Affairs is monitoring the situation of the Cubans who sought refuge in the Peruvian Embassy in Havana. Although estimates vary, the Peruvian Governments has said that 10,800 Cubans are seeking entry to Peru. The Peruvian Government has consulted its Andean Pact partners about the situation. It is understood that some of these partners in Spain and the United States have offered to assist in resettling the people concerned. The Government has received an approach from the Peruvian Foreign Minister, Mr Arturo Garcia, asking that Australia also resettle some of these people. The Peruvian Charge has also made representations to the Department of Foreign Affairs. In addition, the Intergovernmental Committee on European Migration, on which Australia has observer status, has made a similar request and has sought financial assistance for this purpose. The Government is conscious of the urgent humanitarian situation that exists. The Department of Foreign Affairs, together with the Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs, is examining these requests with a view to determining a response as quickly as possible.

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