Once upon a time in Cuba-- in whatever period we choose to place the story- a seductive criminal, Simon (Jorge Perugorría), is taking illegal emigrants to New York on his old sailboat. Sarcastic and impassive, he abandons them to their fate on a small island. A U.S. patrol ship locates the illegal boat and pursues it, not hesitating to invade Cuba’s territorial waters. A young sailor on the illegal boat, Andrés (Alex González) saves Simon’s life. Then he is wounded by U.S. bullets. Simon never forgets what young Andrés did for him, even though Andrés happens to fall in love with a provocative teenaged girl, Marie (Ana de Armas), who is the wicked Simon’s protégée. The conflict is underway. Marie and Andrés are in love with each other and try to escape from Cuba to New York. Simon will do everything he can -even the impossible- to stop them.