SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) -- A top bodyguard for
Cuba's Fidel Castro who defected April 17 at the U.S. Embassy in Santo
Domingo has been flown to the United States, a U.S. official confirmed
The bodyguard was flown to Miami Friday, and then on to an unknown
destination, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
U.S. State Department sources have identified the defector as Capt. Lazaro
de Betancourt, second-in-command in the security team that guards the
De Betancourt appeared without warning at the U.S. Embassy during a
Santo Domingo meeting of Latin American and Caribbean leaders and
asked to defect. He is the first known member of Castro's security team to
defect in 40 years.
The bodyguard was flown to the United States on a civilian airplane despite
speculation he might leave with U.S. military officials visiting Santo Domingo
to inspect hurricane repairs, the U.S. official said.
The defection came a year after Cuba and the Dominican Republic restored
diplomatic ties. In August, Castro made his first visit to the neighboring
country since coming to power in 1959.
Copyright 1999 The Associated Press.