One step forward, hundreds of kilometres back for Cuban refugee
Leonardo Herrera was elated when he saw the US coastline from a migrant boat. Then his dreams were shattered
More than 15 hours into Leonardo Herrera’s second attempt to reach the US, he was convinced he’d seen Florida.
The 23-year-old mechanic from Boyeros, Cuba, had been focused on the rolling waves that rocked and lifted the wooden boat transporting him, 11 other Cubans and all their hopes for a future free of repression and deprivation. Dolphins tracked alongside. And when Herrera raised his eyes, he believed he saw the dreamed-of coastline, though it was many kilometres away. His companions erupted in joy. Men hugged. Women cried.
“They wanted so badly to get there,” Herrera said. “And we were thriving.”..