Many a traveling Cuban baseball team has come home missing a player or two. Now, it's Cuban actors.
The LA Times reports that Cuban stars of film screening at Tribeca fest may have defected:
In a case of life apparently imitating art, two stars of a fictional movie about Cubans defecting to the United States have disappeared in Miami en route to the Tribeca Film Festival, and may themselves be seeking to defect.
Javier Nunez Florian and Anailin de la Rua de la Torre, the 20-year-old stars of the Havana-set drama "Una Noche" (One Night), disappeared on a layover in Miami last Wednesday as they were traveling from Havana to New York. They have not been heard from since. The filmmakers, including New York-based director Lucy Mulloy, believe the two are in hiding and do not wish to return to Cuba.
Havana-based producer Sandy Perez Aguila had been traveling from Cuba with the pair as well as with a third actor from the film, Dariel Arrechada. Aguila said he and Arrechada had agreed to briefly separate from Florian and De la Torre in the Miami airport, with the latter two saying they wanted to browse some shops and would meet up with the producer at the gate for their New York flight. That was the last time Aguila saw the pair.
When the actors didn't turn up at the gate, Aguila went to police at the Miami airport, who told him that they could not investigate until the duo was missing for at least 24 hours. With no other option, he and Arrechaga boarded the plane and flew to New York.
Upon arrival, the producer opened the checked luggage belonging to Florian and De la Torra and found the suitcases were empty, suggesting a premeditated plan to stay in the United States.
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"Una Noche" centers on three young Cubans who, frustrated by their lack of prospects in the Communist country, plot to escape Havana to Miami by homemade raft; Florian and De la Torre play a brother and sister who are particularly close. Mulloy shot the film in 2011 after several years spent researching the subject in Havana and abroad. She had the full cooperation of the Cuban government, which even sent diplomats to the Berlin Film Festival screening.
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Numerous Cuban actors and sports stars have over the years defected to the U.S. In 1995, the Clinton administration signed legislation that provided for the "wet foot-dry foot" policy, which allows any Cuban citizen who arrives in this country by air or arrives on land by boat to remain in the country and seek residency a year later; those caught at sea are repatriated to Cuba or sent to a third country.