Cuban defectors choosing Tampa over Miami 2

By Juan O. Tamayo el Nuevo Herald

Hoping to avoid the anti-Castro maelstrom in Miami — and spies for the regime — some important expats are choosing to live in Tampa.

By Juan O. Tamayo,

TAMPA — One was a senior Cuban government official who handled more than $700 million in U.S. imports in one year. Another is the son of a top Cuban army general. And then there’s the daughter of the island’s powerful vice president.  All three defected and became part of a little-known trend among Cubans who escape their communist-ruled country and settle in Tampa, a city with strong historical ties to the island but not a major focus of current Cuban expatriate life.  Why Tampa?  To avoid Miami’s anti-Castro cauldron, analysts say. But also because the defectors are less likely to be recognized on the streets and because Miami has many knowledgeable FBI agents — and too many Castro spies.“They certainly can have a softer landing in this area,” said Ralph Fernandez, a Cuban-American lawyer in Tampa who said he knows of five mid- to high-level government officials living here whose defections in recent months have not been made public.

Miami immigration lawyer Wilfredo Allen said his Tampa office was contacted by half a dozen middle-ranking Cuban military officers and government officials for help with their legal status over the past three years.  Fernandez and other Cubans in Tampa agree that the total number of recent defectors living in the city of 346,000 people is high but unknowable because many of them are in hiding or keeping low profiles for various reasons.

Read more here:


  1. This defectors travel and establish themselves in Tampa because they fear that the same people they fought and repressed in the past kill them.we have to understand that these people are not innocents ,during decades they worked for Castro and within their intelligence services,police and Members of the communist party to succeed they had to,sooner or later kill or torture,why? because the essence of a repressive regime is Murder and intimidation as a mean of survival.These defectors fear of retribution from the families of the victims they murdered or help other communists agencies to pursuit and murder.

  2. This is a classic example of poorly researched Miami Herald reporting. Many Cuban immigrants who left after 1990 have been settling in areas outside of Florida. There are some 65,000 Cuban immigrants in the Louisville and northern Kentucky region. Most of the immigrants were people who were part of the dictatorship and spent their entire life cursing the “Miami Mafia.” Many of the cannot shed the Communist rhetoric and still speak of their mercenary role in Angola as an “international mission.” Tamayo quotes Wilfredo “Willy” Allen, but in standard Herald fashion carefully omits mention that Allen was a participant in the 1978 “dialogue” with the Castro dynasty, as reported by the Herald here

    Click to access Dialogueros-lista-11-21-1978.pdf

    Wilfredo Allen Quevedo’s signature can be seen in this “dialogue” document along with the signatures of Fidel Castro and other leaders of the dictatorship

    Click to access Dialogo-firmantes.pdf

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