Cuban ballet dancers defect to the US

Seven young members of the internationally-acclaimed National Ballet of Cuba have defected to the United States.

The dancers, who arrived in Miami, through Mexico, said they came to the US “in search of wider artistic horizons.”

Reports indicate that a seventh dancer, Alejandro Méndez, 20, who is still in Mexico. , said on a television here that they defected “to be in a place where one can grow artistically.”

One of the dangers, Annie Ruiz Díaz, the only one with family in the United States, said the decision to defect “was hard, but we made it firmly, without thinking about the past, only the future.”

The group agreed to defect while they still in Cuba, and left when their company performed in Mexico.

Several Cuban dancers have defected when their companies were abroad, but the National Ballet of Cuba (NBC), home of famed ballerina Alicia Alonso, is considered to be the premiere classical ballet group in the region.