Cuban circus juggling act vanishes on Mexican tour

  1. Cuban circus juggling act vanishes on Mexican tour
    Fri Dec 7, 2007 2:43pm EST
    By Mica Rosenberg

    Reuters Link

    MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Eight Cuban acrobat jugglers disappeared before a performance at a festival in central Mexico last week, presumably to defect to the United States, organizers said on Friday.

    The six men and two women, the entire juggling and high-flying acrobatics act of Havana-based Circuba, arrived in the Mexican state of Queretaro last week for an annual festival of musicians, actors and artists from around the world.

    The group was part of a troupe of more than 20 Cuban performers attending the fair for the second year in a row.

    "They arrived on Thursday, bought cell phones, and by eight in the morning on Friday they were gone," said Guadalupe Navarro, a spokeswoman for the Queretaro fair.

    "It's most likely they came prepared with all the contacts they needed to escape," she said.

    Unlike migrants from other Latin American nations who trek through deserts and ford rivers to enter the United States illegally, Cubans only have to show up at the U.S. border and request political asylum to be allowed in.

    Defections by Cuban athletes and performers while on tour in other countries are not uncommon.

    The performers, trained in the circus tradition of the former Soviet Union but with added Cuban dance rhythms, are from a school whose graduates and students have toured the world for two decades. They have performed in Latin America, Europe and as far afield as China, Mongolia and North Korea.

    The remaining Cuban performers scrambled to find replacement artists for a delicate pole-climbing act by calling on fellow Cuban circus performers living in Mexico.

    "The others were very angry; apparently they didn't know anything about it," Navarro said.

    Mexico's foreign ministry said it had no information on the whereabouts of the missing Cubans.
  2. Had to post this b/c we have been to Queretero, which isn't a very large city. And I thought the headline was kind of funny. When I read it I first thought the juggling act was like a magic act. Like the jugglers add disappearing act to their repertoire. Then I read about the defections. Hmmm. Maybe they got lost looking for their balls.