Cuban Swimmer Gets Asylum in the US

HAVANA TIMES — Handicapped swimmer Rafael Castillo was granted political asylum in the United States on Wednesday after having deserted the Cuban delegation attending the Para-Pan American Games in Mexico last year, reported the Café Fuerte website.

“This is a big day for me because me because I’m that much closer to achieving my dream of becoming an Olympic champion representing this country, which welcomed me generously when I left my country,” said Castillo, whose legs and left arm were amputated as a result of a medical accident when he was five months old.

Yand Martinez, Castillo’s coach and the president of Devilrays Swin Club of Miami, considers the Cuban dolphin will have no problem reaching the Olympic podium if he finally manages to join the US team for the world competitions in London.

The disabled swimmer won first place in four contests, second place in two others and set several records in the IX Invitational Swim Meet held in Cincinnati last weekend, where athletes from 17 countries participated.