The 24-year-old daughter of Cuban Vice President Marino Murillo, sometimes mentioned as a possible successor to ruler Raul Castro, defected earlier this month and is now living in Tampa, Florida, according to Miami’s El Nuevo Heraldo.
Glenda Murillo Diaz crossed the Mexico border at Laredo, Texas, around Aug. 16, the sources told El Nuevo Herald, meaning she was paroled under the wet-foot, dry-foot policy, which allows Cubans who set foot on US land to stay. Cubans caught in the sea are returned to Havana.
Her decision to abandon the Castro brothers-ruled Cuba and settle in the historically antagonistic United States are yet unknown but according to the Miami Spanish language newspaper would be a vote of no-confidence on the profound economic reforms that Castro has ordered and that her father is in charge of enacting.
Glenda Murillo was attending a psychologists’ congress in Mexico City.
Marino Murillo, 51, known as Cuba’s “reforms tsar,” is vice president of the ruling Council of State and member of the powerful political bureau of the Cuban Communist Party. Castro last year put him in charge of executing the reforms.
An economist reported to have served as a military officer he first came to public notice in 2006 when Castro, who served for decades as Defense minister before succeeding brother Fidel, named him minister of internal commerce. He was later appointed as minister of Planning and economy.
According to his official government biography Murillo has a degree in economics from the Cuban National Defense College and is a member of the Communist Party. He has been linked to the economic sphere for more than 20 years as Minister of Internal Trade; Deputy Minister of Economy and Planning and as an auditor for the Ministry of Food and Industry.
Glenda Murillo Diaz never received a US visa to visit relatives or study in the United States.