Cuban refugee parents reunite with daughters at TIA

- Two years of an agonizing wait ended in streams of tears for two political refugees from Cuba who were reunited with their daughters at Tampa International Airport.

"It's a special moment for me," said Herminio Otero, who came with his wife to Largo in 2014.

Otero and his wife, Aida Sanchez, have been living and working in a Largo hotel since leaving Cuba as political refugees.

He feared going to jail after writing an article in a Catholic publication criticizing the Castro regime.

"Give me the opportunity to live, start a new life, I am coming here," Otero said.

But acquiring dependency status for their children, Aida, 20, and Amanda, 12, who were living in Cuba with their grandparents, would require lots of waiting, and a call to the state department from Rep. David Jolly.

"You never want to think it takes a call from a member of Congress, simply to get something done," Jolly said.

The plane from Miami came in at 5 p.m., 11 minutes late, and you can be sure they counted every one.

"When I take my daughters in my arms... everything is easy," Otero said.

The daughters' first gift in America came from Jolly: two flags that flew over the Capitol building, signifying the freedom they only dreamed of in Cuba.

"Very excited, our daughters of two years, far away, they come here today," Otero said, as he kissed his daughter on the top of the head.

Up Next:


Up Next

  • Cuban refugee parents reunite with daughters at TIA
  • N-word painted on Citrus Co. family's house
  • St. Pete's Manhattan Casino to become restaurant
  • Brooksville man arrested wearing Confederate Flag mask
  • Counties prepare for dueling rallies over Confederate monuments
  • Turtle trackers busy during peak hatching season
  • Manatee Co. Commission votes to leave Confederate monument in place
  • Police search for driver in deadly hit-and-run
  • TPD: Suspect shot after attacking officers behind house
  • Kissimmee reeling after officers gunned down