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Bay of Pigs Prisoner Relatives Sail for Florida

Dec. 26, 1962 - The freighter African Pilot, packed with 923 Cuban emigrants, sailed tonight for Florida. Released by Premier Fidel Castro (pictured at the inauguration of a kindergarden in April) as a Christmas bonus, they will rejoin their close relatives, the Bay of Pigs prisoners ransomed last week from Cuban prisons. Their voyage across the Florida Straits was expected to take 14 hours. Some of them left behind everything they own to reunite with the 1,113 men released in exchange for $53 million worth of food and medicine. They were not allowed to take out any Cuban money. Castro also demanded that in cases where entire families left, they had to surrender their homes and property to the Cuban government. Property and possessions could be held in their names provided one member of the family stayed.


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