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Communist regime calls Cubans who flew hang glider to Florida Keys "deserters"

An official note says the equipment the two young Cubans used for the flight belonged to the Cuban Aviation Club, an organization which provides sports services to tourists on the East Havana Beaches

Crisis en Cuba
Identifican a pilotos cubanos que llegaron a Cayo Hueso | Fotomontaje: ADN Cuba

March 27, 2023 8:52am

Updated: March 27, 2023 11:21pm

The Cuban regime has identified the two pilots who landed Saturday morning at the Key West airport aboard motorized hang gliders and classified them as deserters.

David López Alfonso and Ismael Hernández Chirino left Cuba at 8:05 a.m. from the beach town of Tarará, in the municipality of Habana del Este, located 19 miles east of the Cuban capital on its northern coastline.

An official report mentions that the equipment they used for the flight, with registration CU-U 1619, belonged to the Cuban Aviation Club, and was used for tourists in the East Havana Beaches area.

The Cuban Aviation Club denounced the event as a "violation" of its own Cuban airspace and asked the "corresponding international authorities" to "apply sanctions" to the two indviduals due to the "seriousness of the case" and also "return the stolen equipment."

AméricaTeVe news channel had access to a relative of Hernández Chirino who said that “Ismael always wanted to be a pilot. We didn't know anything about this trip. It is very dangerous because that type of equipment can be turned very easily and you can even kill yourself.”

This Saturday, both migrants were detained and handed over to the United States Border Patrol, Adam Linhardt, spokesman for the More County Sheriff's Office, confirmed to the local press.

Apparently, they did not suffer significant damage on their risky journey from the island.

The two Cuban migrants now face the prospect of applying fro political asylum, just as Cuban pilot Rubén Martínez Machado did in October after commandeering a Russian made jet from the island. 

Martínez Machado spent four months in a detention center, but has since been released and granted asylum.