A handful of U.S. citizens have been stuck in Cuba since the coronavirus outbreak began but some were finally able to return Friday.
Relief flights from Cuba touched down at Miami International Airport Friday as families were able to reunite for the first time in weeks.
Angela Kim said she had been waiting for her father, 77-year-old Alberto Kim, for 29 days.
"I’m a proud American because the U.S. Embassy heard my cry to get my father out of the country," Angela Kim said. "He’s a U.S. citizen and there was nothing more for me to do but petition the embassy and they organized two flights on Delta Airlines and I’m very lucky that he came here."
There were more than 300 people on the two charter flights from Havana. All passengers had to go through health screenings before they cleared customs.
Because of concerns over COVID-19, the American Embassy is only doing emergency services, but there are still many Americans stranded on the island.
Embassy officials said more than 800 legal residents and U.S. citizens remain in Cuba. It was unclear if that figure represents any of the people on Friday's flights.
The embassy said they will continue to explore options to bring citizens home. Many Americans will have to remain in Cuba for the time being until the Cuban government reopens its airports for international travel.
If you are a U.S. citizen who has contacted the Embassy previously and are interested in returning to the United States, you should do the following:
You must fill out this form. Please do not call the U.S. Embassy to place your name on the list for a possible charter flight. Submitting the form DOES NOT guarantee a seat on the flight. The U.S. Embassy will contact you if a flight becomes available.
Continue to follow up with airlines about the availability of commercial flights, which could re-start operations before other travel arrangements such as charter flights are available.