Deported last October from the United States to Cuba, Rene Alamo spends most days sitting alone in a bedroom of his family's house outside Havana waiting to hear whether he will get to rejoin his wife and children in South Florida.
"I am seeing a psychiatrist because I can't deal with this by myself," the 63-year-old Rene told El Nuevo Herald in a telephone interview from Cuba.
Said his wife Lazara Alamo: "I am destroyed. Suddenly I'm left without a husband of almost 30 years and our children without their father."
Alamo was forced to return to communist Cuba under a little-known immigration accord between the U.S. and Cuban governments dating back to the 1980s Reagan administration that singles out Cubans who arrived during the 1980 Mariel boatlift. Their names are contained on a confidential list kept by federal authorities and not open to the public.
The agreement allows U.S. immigration authorities to deport certain Mariel Cubans convicted of crimes both in Cuba and within the United States.
Other Cubans typically do not get deported to the island nation.
As Cuban exiles mark 30 years since the first Mariel refugees landed on the U.S. mainland, the deportations of the so-called "Mariel excludables" underscore how to this day — three decades later — the memory of Mariel haunts a select group of Cuban families.
The family of Rene Alamo and his attorneys say U.S. immigration authorities have made a terrible mistake in deporting him from the United States because they insist that he arrived the year before the Mariel boatlift.
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