14ymedio, Havana, August 22, 2019 — Yunier García Duarte, the young Cuban stowaway who arrived in Miami a week ago on board a flight from Havana, has demonstrated “credible fear” of returning to the island, a legal prerequisite for a person seeking legal asylum in the U.S. according to his attorney, Wilfredo Allen, in an interview with El Nuevo Herald.
The 26-year-old García, who escaped Cuba by hiding in the plane’s cargo area, told local media outlets that he would fear for his life if he were repatriated. “I risked my life. I hope they accept me… If they deport me, I will be tortured. I am urgently asking asking them to consider my case. I came here because this is a country of human rights,” he said.
Allen, an attorney who specializes in immigration cases, indicated that his next legal move would be to ask that his client be released on parole or bail, and to formally request political asylum in the United States.
“Don’t come back, my son, because I don’t know what would happen to you,” said a tearful Daysi Duarte, García’s mother, in an emotional video message from Havana that was released by Univision 23. In the message to her son, Duarte, who suffers from a serious heart condition, assured him that she would perservere. “Know that I am strong,” she said.
Upon landing in Miami, García asked for help in a bid to remain in the United States. “I risked my life. I hope they accept me… If they deport me, I will be tortured. I am urgently asking asking them to consider my case. I came here because this is a country of human rights,” he said in a telephone iterview with Telemundo.
García described a very difficult journey during which he was barely able to breathe in the plane’s cargo hold. The stowaway was working as a baggage handler at Havana’s José Martí International Airport when he took the opportunity to hide in the undercarriage of a Swiftair plane.
When he landed in Miami, García was wearing a polo shirt with the logo of the Havana airport’s aeronautical services company.
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