The man, who was dressed in a T-shirt with the logo of Ecasa Cuba, the island’s airport and aeronautical services company, has been identified by Miami’s Telemundo 51 as Yunier García Duarte, a 26-year-old Havana airport worker.
“We opened the door, went inside and heard a noise… A voice screamed: ’It’s not a dog, it’s me, it’s me.’ All he said was that he wanted water, that he was scared they would call to his family,” reported an airport employee who wanted to remain anonymous.
One of García’s aunts in Havana told the news media, “He’s my nephew. I saw that he was O.K. What I most want is for him to be able to stay in that country and have a better future. I am very worried about him.”
Telemundo 51 was also able to speak with Garcia’s father, who said he thought it was a joke when his son called from Miami to let him know.
In a video recorded by the passengers on the Swiftair flight, agents of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Service can be seen detaining the migrant, who must now request asylum if he intends to stay in the country.
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