CHAPTER XXIV
FLYING INTO EXILE

WITH ME IN the plane were my wife and our son Jorge; Mr. and Mrs. Góell; Doctors Andrés Domingo and Andrés Rivero Agüero; Dr. Gastón Godoy, his wife and son; Gen. Pedro Rodríguez Avila and his wife; Admiral José A. Rodríguez Calderón; Gen. Juan Rojas and his wife and three children; Gen. Roberto Fernández Miranda; Col. Orlando Piedra; aides; members of the guard and others.

To all my troubles was added the concern for the fate of my other children. I did not know what route the others had taken, nor was I certain that my recommendations had been followed to bring the younger ones to Daytona Beach in my Presidential plane.

We were in the air some 20 minutes when one of the pilots, Lieut. Col. Antonio Soto, informed me that we were about to leave the jurisdictional waters of Cuba, en route to Florida. I thought a moment and, remembering a conversation which Minister of State Gonzalo Güell and I had held with United States Ambassador Smith, said: "Turn around and head for the Dominican Republic." There was an exclamation of surprise, the aides near me shook their heads. A moment later, pilot D'Abrigeón, the captain of the ship, came back to confirm the order. I answered in the affirmative and someone commented "To go to the Dominican Republic we have to fly over the length of Cuba and we ought to take advantage of the distance we have gone and continue to your home in Daytona." In my mind revolved something I thought of as an obligation

-137-

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