29 Apr 2012

Cuban movie actors defect

12:00 pm on 29 April 2012

Two Cuban actors who starred in a film about defectors have themselves defected to the United States.

Javier Nunez and Anailin de la Rua, both aged 20, have emerged from a week in hiding after going missing at Miami airport while en route to the Tribecca film festival in New York.

They said on a Spanish-language TV channel in Miami on Friday night that they would seek political asylum in the US.

The two star in the film Una Noche (One Night), which depicts three Cuban teenagers trying to escape the poverty of their homeland to begin a new life in Miami.

The film won three awards at the Tribeca festival, including the prize for best actor for Nunez.

The BBC reports a number of Cuban artists and athletes have defected from Cuba over the past few years.

In 2008, seven members of Cuba's Olympic football team defected in Florida after a game with the United States.

Last year, five members of the National Ballet of Cuba on tour in Canada decided to remain there after their performances.