Floating taxi family hails ride out of Cuba
- Floating taxi family hails ride out of Cuba
MIAMI - It was a good day for folks wanting out of Communist Cuba.
The man who tried three times to reach the U.S. in vintage vehicles
converted into boats finally arrived yesterday with his family in
transportation a little more comfortable - a plane.
Rafael Diaz Rey, his wife, Nivia Valdez, and sons Pablo Alonso and David
looked tired but relieved after their flight from the U.S. base at
Guantanamo Bay. They were taken there after being picked up 14 miles south
of Key West on June 7 in a bright blue, 1948 Mercury taxi that Diaz
converted into a boat.
The U.S. normally returns Cubans picked up at sea to Cuba, but Diaz caught a
break because he and one of his sons already had won the right to emigrate
in a Cuban government lottery. Although his wife, a doctor, and a second son
had been denied exit visas, U.S. officials let them all in.
Also getting in were a Las Vegas man who loaned his look-alike brother his
U.S. residency documents for an escape - then found himself trapped in his
homeland. After three months, despite his ruse, Cuban officials let Bernardo
Heredia out Sunday.