Cuban Vice President’s Daughter Defected for Love

The Miami Herald reports that “the tale of the Cuban vice president’s daughter who defected may turn out to be a love story after all.” Glenda Murillo, daughter of Vice President Marino Murillo, went to Tampa to be with her boyfriend and not for political reasons, according to her family.

Murillo has a boyfriend in Tampa and left Cuba “for personal and not political reasons,” the aunt, Idania Diaz, told El Nuevo Herald in a polite but brief phone conversation from her home in Tampa. What’s more, Murillo is not married, the aunt added, regardless of what El Nuevo Herald was told by the mystery man who answered her cell phone in Havana and claimed to be her husband.

Murillo’s defection, first reported by El Nuevo Herald on Monday, drew intense news interest because her father is vice president of Cuba’s ruling Council of State and member of the powerful political bureau of the island’s Communist Party. The father, Marino Murillo, 51, an economist trained in Cuba’s National Defense University, is in charge of enacting Cuban ruler Raúl Castro’s ambitious economic reforms and has been mentioned as a possible successor.

Glenda Murillo did not have a U.S. visa and slipped into Texas from Mexico, where she had been attending a psychology seminar, around Aug. 16, according to knowledgeable sources. She was paroled under the wet-foot, dry-foot policy, which allows Cubans who set foot on U.S. land to stay. The State Department said Tuesday that privacy regulations bar it from providing information on specific cases of visa, asylum or parole requests. It referred all questions on the Murillo defection to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

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