The program director for Cuba's largest radio network announced his defection to the United States on Friday and said conditions in his homeland are rapidly deteriorating and the government could soon fall.
Romel Iglesias Gonzalez, who worked with government-controlled Radio Progresso for 23 years, entered the United States this month on a tourist visa, accompanied by his wife.Iglesias, 47, left his parents and grown daughters behind but said he believed he would soon be able to visit them freely.
"The regime will not last long," Iglesias said flatly. "It is in a period of terrible decadence. It is not a question of days, but perhaps a year, not much more than that."
Iglesias is the second high-profile Cuban defector in less than 48 hours. Cuban air force Maj. Orestes Lorenzo Perez flew his MiG-23 into the Key West Naval Air Station on Wednesday and asked for political asylum.
Iglesias said grumbling against Cuban President Fidel Castro and the communist government has increased in recent years.
"The people don't demonstrate openly, but every place they meet they are talking about it," he said.
He said Radio Progresso is a general service radio network, providing music, soap operas and news.
"But even the music must be approved for propaganda reasons," he said. "During the gulf war, for example, we could not tell the truth," said Iglesias.