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Cuban defector in United States

MIAMI, April 10 (UPI) -- A young Cuban diplomat who defected in Mexico last month is in the United States, an uncle in Canada said.

Yusimil Casanas, 25, and her husband Michael Rojas, 32, who was in construction work, disappeared March 17, The Miami Herald reported. She was assigned to the passport section of the Cuban Embassy in Mexico City.

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The Herald said Casanas earlier had worked in the office of former Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque, who was ousted last year in a purge.

Esteban Casanas Lostal, the uncle who lives in Canada, told El Nuevo Herald Casanas called her mother in Cuba on Thursday, saying she and Rojas were "safe in the United States'' but could not say where.

El Nuevo Herald said a Rojas cousin in Miami, Jose Carrasco, told it the husband also called his family in Cuba to say they were safe in the United States.

The CIA and FBI regularly debrief major Cuban defectors, the Herald said, to determine they are not Cuban intelligence infiltrators and get whatever information they might have.

Spokesmen for the CIA and Cuba's diplomatic mission in Washington declined to comment on the case, the Herald said.

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