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Miami Airport


Cuban actors Javier Nunez Florian and Anailin de la Rua, who defected to the US, emerged from hiding a week after they had gone missing at Miami airport during a stop-over on the way to a film festival in New York.

Speaking on a Spanish-language TV channel in Miami, they said they would seek political asylum in the US.

Several Cuban artists have defected to pursue careers outside their country.

The two 20-year-old actors star in the film Una Noche (One Night), which depicts three Cuban teenagers trying to escape the poverty of their homeland to begin a new life in Miami. Una Noche tells the story of three young Cubans attempting to make their way from Havana to Miami by raft. It was filmed on location with the permission and cooperation of the Cuban government.

Javier Nunez Florian and Anailin de la Rua, who defected to the US, emerged from hiding a week after they had gone missing at Miami airport

Javier Nunez Florian and Anailin de la Rua, who defected to the US, emerged from hiding a week after they had gone missing at Miami airport

Before their appearance on Miami-based Spanish-language channel America TeVe on Friday night, they had last been seen at Miami airport on a stop-over from Havana to New York.

They told film producer Sandy Perez Aguila, who was travelling with the pair, that they would meet him at the departure gate for the New York flight, but failed to turn up.

Sandy Perez Aguila told Miami police the two had gone missing, but police said he would have to wait for 24 hours before he could file a report.

He said that when he opened their suitcases when he arrived in New York, he found them empty.

The film won three awards at the Tribeca film festival, including the prize for best actor for Javier Nunez Florian, which he shared with another of the film’s actors.

Speaking on America TeVe, Javier Nunez Florian said he hoped he would be able to further pursue his acting career in the US.

In an interview with Reuters news agency, the pair said they had started thinking about defecting when they heard about the invitation to New York.

“In part, it’s hard to leave your family and friends behind,” Anailin de la Rua said.

“But at the same time you do it so you can help them, there’s no future in Cuba,” she said.

A Miami immigration lawyer representing the two actors told Reuters he planned to file for political asylum on the actors’ behalf “based on possible persecution if they return to Cuba”.

A string of Cuban artists and athletes has defected from Cuba over the past few years.

In 2005, Cuban ballet dancer Rolando Sarabia crossed the border into the US. In 2008 seven members of Cuba’s Olympic football team defected in Florida after a game with the US.

Last year, five members of the National Ballet of Cuba on tour in Canada decided to remain there after their performances.

 

Seven snakes and three tortoises were packed in women’s pantyhose and found in the man’s pants

Seven snakes and three tortoises were packed in women’s pantyhose and found in the man’s pants

 

A man was arrested in Florida last week at the Miami Airport after he tried to smuggle 10 reptiles on a flight by carrying the animals in his pants.

Seven snakes and three tortoises were packed in women’s pantyhose and found in the man’s pants as he waited to board a flight to Brazil.

 

The man, who was not named, was arrested by U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife officers and charged with “harbouring animals in an unnatural habitat”, according to the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) Blog.

TSA used specific imaging technology, which allows agents to find potential threats when they found the animals.

The reptiles’ incident came few days after a similar one happened in California, when a woman tried to board a flight to China with endangered birds strapped to her body.

Transportation Security Administration officers found one of the bright yellow birds taped to the woman’s chest and another was taped to her leg as she tried to get onto a flight at Los Angeles Airport.

TSA spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein said unusual items are often found on passengers, but the agency was surprised by two creature-smuggling attempts in the same week.

 

The reptiles found in man’s trousers were confiscated by the US Department of Fish and Wildlife officers

The reptiles found in man’s trousers were confiscated by the US Department of Fish and Wildlife officers

 

Lisa Farbstein told the New York Daily News:

“All of our jaws dropped. It just goes to show the lengths that people will go to try to sneak something past officials.”

The reptiles found in man’s trousers were confiscated by the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife officers.