issues

CUBA: The Long Way to America

July 3, 2016 - Liset arrives at Chicago O'Hare International Airport to be reunited with her boyfriend, Joey, who she met in Cuba back in January and paid for her trip to go to the Unites States.
Lisette Poole—Redux July 3, 2016 - Liset arrives at Chicago O'Hare International Airport to be reunited with her boyfriend, Joey, who she met in Cuba back in January and paid for her trip to go to the Unites States.

Vick is a TIME correspondent based in New York

Liset Barrios traveled 8,000 miles

The shortest route from Cuba to the U.S. is 90 miles. But that’s across the Florida Straits, and Liset Barrios gets nervous on a boat. So on May 13, she boards Copa Airlines Flight 295, setting off the long way around—the really long way. The journey covered 8,000 miles, took 51 days and, along the way, illuminated an obscure byway in this historic wave of human migration. The U.N. says some 244 million people live outside their home countries, most as legal guest workers in nearby nations. About 21 million are refugees fleeing war or persecution. Several million more—no one knows the precise number—make their way underground, “irregular migrants” trying to stay out of sight en route from a poor place with scant opportunities to a richer one, with more. Read more here.

Tap to read full story

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary on events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of TIME editors.

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com