Miami Herald [FL]
20 January 2014
By Juan O. Tamayo
It was only a rumor. But several hundred people turned up at a remote Cuban port on the last days of 2013, some carrying inner tubes, hoping to reach the ship said to be waiting offshore for anyone who wanted to escape the island.
“Police, state security and border guards sealed off the town, and still people were arriving,” said Antonio Luis Caballero, a farmer and dissident from Gibara, 478 miles southeast of Havana.
The rumor about a possible mass exodus through Gibara starting Dec. 24 was the latest in a growing string of odd rumors about everything from official corruption to the kidnappings of children and even satanic rites, several island residents said.
One recent rumor had posters appearing around Havana with the words, “Mothers will weep and children will disappear,” said independent journalist Roberto de Jesus Guerra. Two other rumors had young girls kidnapped in separate neighborhoods of the capital and Vice President Marino Murillo escaping Cuba with millions of dollars. […]