Undertaker Helps Exiles Return to Cuba One Last Time
Time for some morbid math. It costs $2,400 less to ship a body for burial in Cuba than it would to bury the deceased in Miami. That's one of the reasons many local families are turning to Rafaiy Alkhalifa in their time of grief. Alkhalifa is the funeral director of Auxiliadora Funeraria Nacional funeral home. Since 1994 an exception in the embargo between the US and Cuba has allowed recently deceased exhiles to have their bodies returned to Cuba. Alkhalifa, recently profiled by Reuters, now sends 12 to 20 bodies back a month.
Of course more than money is at play for many clients. Alkhalifa told Reuters, "They want to go home because it's the fatherland. Motherland, fatherland, whatever you want to call it. These are things that are very important to people."