Let my people go! Famous Biblical line. Moses speaking to Pharaoh.

A similar situation exists involving Florida keys’ residents. This morning’s Key West Citizen in a major front page article told the story of Aziza Petro and her two children 11 and 4 who are being held hostage in Turkmenistan.

Aziza has dual citizenship. U.S. and Turkmenistan. She was born in Turkmenistan.

She lives and works in the Key West area. Married to Mike. Mike is a well known realtor and political figure. Their two children are Mercedes and Mikey.

Aziza’s mother died two years ago. Aziza and the children returned to Turkmenistan to visit her mother’s grave. They were to return home July 1. The Turkmenistan government refused to let them out. The government did not recognize Aziza’s American citizenship. Claim she is stuck in the country. The fact that the two children were born in the United States and have no connection to Turkmenistan appears immaterial. They are not being permitted to leave.

A tragedy!

All members of the Petro family suffering.

I make mention of Aziza’a story because I met her some four months ago. I was at the outside bar at Louie’s. As was Aziza. She had an hour to kill while waiting to pick her husband up at the airport.

The conversation was interesting. I was impressed with Aziza’s sense of community responsibility. She proudly showed me pictures of her children and husband. We spoke of my Albanian friend Flora who I met on Amorgos. Albania and Turkmenistan are both former Soviet Union block countries. Turkmenistan still being run like one.

I wrote about my meeting with Aziza in my blog the next morning.

Aziza and her children cannot get out of a country. There is also the story of another local who cannot get into a country.

Friday, Secretary of State Kerry will be in Havana for the raising of the American flag at the U.S. Embassy. The Cuban government is refusing to allow who they describe as “dissidents” to participate. Credentials to enter Cuba are being denied to some. One such person is Key West’s own Rob O’Neal.

Rob’s relationship with Cuba goes back years. He has lived there. Married a Cuban. Spent years trying to get his wife to the United States. Rob has not had a kumbaya relationship with the Cuban government. Ergo, he is not being permitted to attend the Havana flag raising.

My relationship with Rob is limited. However, he is well known and loved in Key West. He is a friend of my daughter Lisa. He took her wedding pictures. Rob is a professional photographer and is the Citizen’s photographer. His press credentials could not gain him admission to Cuba for friday’s event.

Jimmy Carter has cancer. Sad. Not a Presidential great, he has become the best ex President ever. His good works since leaving office are world wide. I wish him well.

Bocce season begins tonight. I am excited!

This week’s KONK Life column is Hemingway’s First Love. It was linked to my Key West Lou website this morning. keywestlou.com. Read it. You will find the story interesting and informative.

Enjoy your day!