How did we leave Cuba?

I did promise to write about this topic however I am leaving a few details out in order to make the story short, and to also have something to talk about later, when we meet. Cuba

For all of you that don’t know us yet, here it is.

Me (Lenka) was born in the Czech Republic to a Czech mom and Cuban dad. My dad was part of a group of Cuban students that during the communist era were sent abroad to attend university. After my dad graduated he had to return to Cuba and of course my mom and I followed. Every 3 years the Cuban government gave my mom and I (but not my dad) authorization to travel and visit our family in the Czech Republic. Needless to say that those vacations were very much cherished.

By the time Hector I got married we had been planning our escape from communist Cuba for almost 5 years (we had reasons to be fearful of the regime). We explored countless options and agreed that the most viable way would be an invitation letter (that my maternal grandmother would send) for Hector to travel to the Czech Republic.

During this process we encounter and overcame a few bureaucratic obstacles by the Cuban authorities and finally on August the 23, 1990 we were on our way out! At this time the Russians had stopped subsidizing Cuba with almost everything, including airplane fuel, so the aircraft did not have enough fuel to make the regular non-stop flight. We had a fuel stopover at Nassau, Bahamas, and then another stop at Gander, NL Canada. From there the plane would refuel and continue to Prague, Czech Republic.

Once in Gander we approached the tallest police officer we could find and Hector told him that we did not want to continue the trip. He asked for our passports and took us into his office. Thankfully all our belongings were retrieved from the plane.

We completed the refugee status process and were granted residency and the rest is history.

We are very proud Canadians!


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    ... to fulfill another dream, our biggest adventure yet, to travel to new places, to meet new people, to make new friends, to help along the way, and most importantly, to have FUN !
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