Never underestimate a man whose name means "He Who Can Conquer Mountains"
September 26, 2011 2:15 PM Subscribe
posted by Cobalt (68 comments total)
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After months of struggle to get his family out of Cuba, Orestes Lorenzo
got his response. Raúl Castro, then Minister of the Armed Forces, declared "If he had the balls to steal one my MiGs, then he can come back and get his family himself!
" In hindsight, that was probably the wrong thing to say.
Elite fighter pilot Major Lorenzo took off on a routine training flight in 1991, tense in his MiG-23BN, the most advanced fighter in the Cuban Air Force, with a two thoughts on his mind. The first one: defection. As soon as he was clear of land he hit the deck and streaked towards the United States. The second: his family.
Thus began the public struggle of the Cuban defector-turned-refugee against the government of Fidel Castro for the release of Lorenzo's wife and two young sons. For nearly two years it played out across the front page of the Wall Street Journal and ended up involving the U.S. government, the Queen of Spain, Mikhail Gorbachev, Fidel Castro, and the United Nations, to no avail.
Increasingly frustrated, he did the only thing he could think of: he got his hands on a plane and flew back to get them