On February 24, 1996, worldwide media reported on the shoot-down of two U.S. civilian aircraft by Cuban warplanes over the Straits of Florida. Two volunteer pilots and two volunteers "spotters" with Brothers to the Rescue -- a group that searched the seas for Cuban rafters in trouble -- were killed without warning or reason. I was one of thousands of Cuban Americans who wept for them.
Two days later, I was yanked from my suburban life and found myself at the center of an international incident involving espionage, murder and betrayal when my then husband, a member of the pilots' group, appeared in Cuba and was discovered as a spy. In one instant, my entire life as I knew it crumbled. But I could never have imagined then how many more innocent lives would be affected.
Parts of my story have been told over and over. In the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, The Miami Herald, The Washington Post, the London Guardian. On CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, Univision, Telemundo and CBS, among other networks and publications. It’s been covered by international news services such as Associated Press, Reuters, the BBC, France Presse and EFE.
But this is the first time you get the entire story, straight from me – even as more chapters are written in the continuing fallout.
Today, I remain in a struggle against the Cuban regime -- the government that planted a spy in my home as my husband and lover and as my children's stepfather -- to collect a judgment made in my favor almost 10 years ago. I fight a slanderous attack on my name and reputation by people who profit from the separation of families and share those profits with the Cuban government. I fight for all of us so that Cuba and, indeed, any foreign government realizes that it cannot play with the lives of the people in this great country.
Come. Learn the truth. Ask questions. But know one thing: My story could have been anyone’s story.
It could have been yours . . .