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Cuban Couple Given Refugee Status After Pope Visit Protest

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(Photo: YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo: YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

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MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) — A man who shouted against the Cuban government during Pope Benedict XVI’s 2012 visit has been given refugee status in the U.S.

Andres Carrion Alvarez, 41, and his wife arrived last month in Tennessee.

A Facebook page for Andres Carrion lists his home city as Chattanooga.

Carrion yelled “Down with the Revolution! Down with the dictatorship” before an outdoor mass in Santiago de Cuba in March of 2012. Video of the incident showed Carrion being beaten by a man wearing a first-aid T-shirt and security agents pulling him away.

Carrion says wasn’t part of any dissident groups before his protest. He says he was constantly harassed and persecuted afterward.

Carrion was never tried for any crime and was freed after being held for 18 days.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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