Whatever the reasoning, bureaucratic, diplomatic, political or otherwise, the initial news that Reina Luisa Tamayo was to settle not in Miami, where there are many Cubans ready to help her, but in Arizona, where there are not, was perplexing.
A day later, thanks to a phone call from one of the more powerful Cuban Americans in the United States to the U.S. State Department, the decision has been reversed. Tamayo, the mother of murdered political prisoner Orlando Zapata Tamayo, and a dozen family members, will be allowed to remain in Florida when their plane arrives at Miami International Airport on June 9.
"I am extremely pleased to receive information directly from the State Department that our efforts on behalf of Reina Luisa have been successful," U.S. Rep. Illena Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. "The outpouring of support and compassion from the South Florida community to welcome Reina Luisa with open arms is a sign of the strong links between the U.S. and the Cuban people."
Tamayo was grateful to learn that she was being allowed to settle in Miami.
"I am pleased by the struggle and sacrifice of our brothers so that we can get to Miami," she told El Nuevo Herald. "I felt bad (about settling in Arizona) but now I am extemely grateful for the news. In Arizona, we would have been very isolated."
I predict the outpouring of support that Tamayo will arrive to in Miami, will make her feel right at home.
But only so much better.