Escapes: Day Trip to Freedom: Day Trip to Freedom

Day Trip to Freedom

In 1980 Fidel Castro sent a horde of Cuban criminals to the U.S. in the Mariel boatlift. Now some of Cuba's best and brightest are also heading for the U.S. -- by escaping. Last week Cuban air force lieutenant Jerman Pompa Gonzales, 24, commandeered a troop transport helicopter formerly used to ferry tourists around the island and flew it to Florida with 33 friends and relatives aboard. On landing at Tamiami Airport near Miami, Pompa and company requested political asylum, which is almost always granted. Pompa enjoyed a reunion with his friend Major Orestes Lorenzo, who flew a MiG-23 to Key...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!