MIAMI — Six members of a Cuban heavy metal group requested political asylum after touching down in the United States, a band member told AFP on Wednesday.
The musicians, who left Havana on Sunday night, touched down in Miami in the early hours of Monday morning en route to a concert in Oakland, Calif.
"It's not something we had thought about until we got here," said bass player Fanny Tachin, confirming reports of the request which first appeared on Cafe Fuerte, a blog catering to Cuban immigrants in Florida.
Tachin said members of the band Hipnosis had lodged requests after lead singer Ramiro Pupo decided to seek asylum.
"Once we saw that we all decided to follow," Tachin said.
Tachin said the musicians had "sentimental, family and economic" reasons for seeking asylum, noting that Pupo's daughter already lived in Miami while the mother of another band member was also a US resident.
Thousands of Cubans try to flee their homeland every year for the United States, where they are guaranteed political asylum.
Tachin said the six band members planned to pursue their careers in the United States.
© AFP 2013