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Man Who Protested During Pope’s Cuba Visit In U.S.

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Andres Carrion Alvarez was arrested after shouting "down with communism" during Pope Benedict's 2012 visit to Havana. (Getty Images)

Andres Carrion Alvarez was arrested after shouting “down with communism” during Pope Benedict’s 2012 visit to Havana. (Getty Images)

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MIAMI (AP) — The United States has given refugee status to a man who shouted against the Cuban government during Pope Benedict XVI’s 2012 visit.

The Miami Herald  first reported 41-year-old Andres Carrion Alvarez 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.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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