Feedback
News
photo

Cuban Couple Reunited in Texas After Harrowing Sea Odyssey

Image: Cuban migrant Mailin Perez embraces with her husband Jose Caballero (2nd L) after arriving via Mexico at a bus station in Austin
Cuban migrant Mailin Perez embraces her husband Jose Caballero after arriving via Mexico at a bus station in Austin, Texas, September 25, 2014. ASHLEY LANDIS / Reuters

Almost a year after he smuggled his way out of Cuba on a homemade boat, Jose Caballero was reunited late Thursday with his wife who survived a harrowing sea voyage of her own last month. The two embraced tightly at the Greyhound bus terminal in Austin, Texas, hours after Mailin Perez crossed the border from Mexico, taking advantage of a U.S. policy that allows entry to Cubans arriving by land.

Perez, 30, was one of a group of Cuban migrants rescued at sea by Mexican fishermen this month badly sunburned and dehydrated after three weeks adrift. Only 15 of the 32 passengers on her boat survived the journey, with 15 dying at sea, and two more dying after they were rescued. "It was such a battle to get here," she said. Caballero left Cuba by the same route in December and is now a maintenance worker at a trucking company in Austin. The couple left two children behind with relatives in Cuba, a boy aged 11 and a girl aged four. "That's our hope now, to bring them to the United States," said Caballero. "But not the way we came. Not by sea."

Image: Cuban migrant Mailin Perez  embraces with her husband Jose Caballero after arriving via Mexico at a bus station in Austin
Mailin Perez is reunited with her husband Jose Caballero after arriving at a bus station in Austin, Texas, Sept. 25, 2014. Under the "wet foot, dry foot policy" of the United States, Cuban migrants who make it onto U.S. soil are allowed to remain while those intercepted at sea are turned back. ASHLEY LANDIS / Reuters

— Reuters