Two journalists exile from Cuba and are stranded at El Salvador Airport after preventing them from flying to Nicaragua

All an odyssey in search of freedom. That's living Cuban independent journalists from 'DNA Cuba' and members of the San Isidro movement, Héctor Valdés Coch

Two journalists exile from Cuba and are stranded at El Salvador Airport after preventing them from flying to Nicaragua

All an odyssey in search of freedom. That's living Cuban independent journalists from 'DNA Cuba' and members of the San Isidro movement, Héctor Valdés Cocho and Esteban Rodríguez. Both are currently stranded at El Salvador Airport waiting for the government of Nayib Bukele to offer asylum after they were exiled from Cuba yesterday to Nicaragua. However, the Daniel Ortega regime has impeded its entry into the Central American country, so they have not been able to fly from San Salvador to Managua leaving in a legal limbo. They can not return to their country because of the sanctions they may suffer, nor can they fly to their destination and do not even give them permission to leave the airport.

In the case of Esteban Rodríguez, he had been imprisoned for eight months in the East Combined Safety Prison in Havana where he was released yesterday on the condition that he will leave his country forever. "I was taken out of the prison with the airport to leave the country and I could not see my daughters," Denounce Rodriguez visibly excited in a live video for 'DNA Cuba' recorded at the terminal of the San Salvador Airport. Likewise, he renovates the pants to show the blisters caused in his two ankles by the so-called 'Shakiras', which are the wives that put on the feet "until the last day".

"I left and left my family back, but I had no choice, because if I was not going, I was never going to get out of a prison and my daughters were going to continue suffering. My mother suffered every hunger strike that I did ", Regrets, while waiting for her friends to" understand the decision I took ", because" it was eight months in a tremendous hell that I do not want anyone, not even my enemies ".

Thus, it stresses that it made the decision to leave their country because "I fear for my life", after eight months in Guanajay and Eastern prisons, where "they are not able to imagine what I suffered", given that opponents "They mistreat physically and psychologically, you get into a hole for more than 72 handcuffed hands and feet without telling you why and without having done anything and play with the lives of people sanctioning them at 20 and 30 years as if it were nothing" . Rodríguez affirms that he "hurts" to have left his mother and her family in Cuba, where "does not forgive the person who thinks differently and is a country that does not let you manifest freely."

On the other hand, the journalist of 'DNA Cuba', an independent audiovisual magazine on art, culture, human rights, LGBT and current issues about Cuba, take the opportunity to ask the Government of El Salvador to "help us". Rodríguez was in prison without trial since April 30, 2021, after the protest on Bishop Street to demand to see the artist and leader of the San Isidro movement, Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara. During the imprisonment of him, he was on hunger strike on two occasions to demand a fair trial and the freedom of him and he also became ill two times from Covid-19. Amnesty International recognized him as a prisoner of conscience.

For its part, Héctor Valdés Cocho published on his Facebook profile a photo of both and recalled the case of his companion Esteban, who "until January 4, 2022 had eight months of unjust condemns everything for peacefully demanding the rights of all the Cubans and get a friend who was on hunger strike and thirst, as was the case of Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara ".

In the same publication, it denounces that, during the eight months of imprisonment, the body of Esteban Rodríguez "was subjected to the last minute to torture, confines in punishment cells with infrahuman conditions and a whole repressive wave by the simple fact of thinking with Head of his own ". For the part of him, he remembers that he has suffered the harassment "for two years he had been exercising journalism in a free way."

"Yesterday, January 4, for not knowing how to tolerate a different opinion and recognize that all and we all have the right to express ourselves without fear of repression, the Cuban regime forced us to make the decision to leave our country," says Valdés. In addition, he points out that during the time he and Esteban were at the airport of Cuba at dawn yesterday, "in which tears did not miss, they were there remembering that we were expelled and that we could never return."

The flight made a first stop in Tocumen (Panama) and from there they took another plane to El Salvador, where they would leave the air towards Managua, because Nicaragua "is the only country with free visa and some friends would give refuge in their home For there to ask for political asylum in a country with democracy. " However, it relates that, at 9:30 p.m., just at the time of the arrival of the flight that was from Managua, "they call us as a speaker and communicate that the Nicaraguan dictatorship prohibited the entrance to Esteban and me and They never gave us an explanation, much less a possible solution to this problem that came from. "

For this reason, the Cuban journalist denounces that, at this time, they are stranded in San Salvador "in a migratory limbo and without the idea of returning to our land by the imminent threat to process if we did." In this way, Héctor Valdés points out that they are in the Central American country "without solutions, without money, without food and imploring the Salvadoran government or any democracy country to give us help," considering that "we are already going for 24 hours as a sheet That beats the wind ". Valdés reveals that before leaving Cuba, the authorities of that country warned them that, if they returned, Esteban were going to "revoke the cause" and they were going to process it for being "accomplice the escape of a criminal"

Now his only hope is that some international organization will help them to achieve "some kind of political shelter, but at the moment, there is no type of solution." Finally, he emphasizes that "we do not need money, but a help to our situation by migration, because at any moment they take us out from the airport and we do not know where to go."

This case has already been denounced by the Reporter Organization Without Borders (RSF), which in its Twitter account has indicated that "Cuba deported two journalists, one directly from prison" and both "are stranded in El Salvador," given that "Nicaragua rejects its entry." For this reason, it urges "its asylum and condemns the forced exile that applies by Cuba system". For its part, the Association of Journalists of El Salvador has already attended the airport to give them assistance and food after 24 hours without ingesting food, while the Attorney General's Office has also entered to deliver what is necessary.

Updated Date: 06 January 2022, 07:49

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