Posted by Curt on 19 February, 2015 at 4:09 pm. 1 comment.



MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay (AP) — Just two months ago, Uruguay welcomed six Guantanamo detainees for resettlement as a humanitarian gesture, and relations have already gotten a little testy.

One of the former prisoners complained in a TV interview last week that he and his five colleagues had given up one jail only to find themselves in another. Uruguayan President Jose Mujica, who spearheaded the plan to bring the men to this South American nation, shot back by questioning the men’s willingness to work.

The men had been held for more than a dozen years at the U.S. Navy base in Cuba before they were brought to Montevideo in December. Mujica said they would be given help getting established in a country of 3.3 million people with a total Muslim population of perhaps 300.

The government has offered the former detainees a residential facility to study Spanish, learn about Uruguayan culture and integrate to their new home.

But Syrian refugee Abu Wa’el Dhiab raised a stir by complaining last week that the men have “walked out of a prison to enter another one.” He also made a brief trip to neighboring Argentina saying he planned to ask that it give asylum to Guantanamo prisoners.

In the TV interview, Dhiab expressed thanks to Uruguayans for taking the men in, but said there should be a plan for helping the ex-detainees, who need “their families, a home, a job and some sort of income that allows them to build a future.”

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