The Miami Herald
February 9, 2001

Cuban revolutionary's grandson seeking asylum in U.S.

 El Nuevo Herald

 Yotuhel Montané, the 28-year-old grandson of a Cuban revolutionary leader, said
 Thursday he is seeking political asylum in the United States.

 Montané, who arrived in Miami from Puerto Rico last month, made the statement
 on the WQBA-AM (1140) radio program hosted by Ninoska Pérez Castellón,
 spokeswoman for the Cuban American National Foundation.

 ``I broke with all that because I wanted to live in freedom,'' Montané said, referring
 to his life in Cuba. ``None of the perks I had because I was a member of my
 grandfather's family are worth more than the freedom I enjoy now.''

 Montané's grandfather is the late Jesús Montané Oropesa, a close friend of Fidel
 Castro since the early days of the revolution. Known as ``Chuchú,'' Jesús
 Montané was a co-founder of the 26 of July Movement and sailed with Castro and
 other rebels from Mexico to Cuba in 1956 aboard the yacht Granma.

 The Sierra Maestra guerrilla campaign in Cuba's highlands began shortly

 Jesús Montané's son, Sergio, a member of Cuba's diplomatic corps, defected in
 1994. Now 51, he lives in Miami.

 Yotuhel Montané said he worked in Havana as a disc jockey. In 1995, he left the
 island legally, he said, and traveled through Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Haiti
 and the Dominican Republic, looking for a way to join his father in the United

 In Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic, where he lived for the past two
 years, he set up a nautical goods store as a cover for the use of a boat that would
 bring him to South Florida, he said. Two such efforts failed.

 But on Jan. 4, he sailed the boat to Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico, and flew from there
 to Miami, aided by relatives.

 As the descendant of a revolutionary figure, he enjoyed many privileges in his
 homeland, he said, such as vacations in restricted spas in Varadero and access
 to exclusive medical facilities.

 But Montané was disenchanted by what he saw as hypocrisy on the part of the
 nation's leaders.

 ``None of them live like the rest of the people,'' he said. ``They live in nice houses,
 drive fine cars and their refrigerators are full of food.

 ``They drill it into your head that you're part of a revolution, but you finally realize
 that the revolution doesn't exist,'' he said.