El Salvador reaffirms its support for the two Cuban reporters stranded in the country

El Salvador reaffirms its support for the two Cuban reporters stranded in the country

“We are going to support them to do whatever they want to do,” says the Foreign Minister of El Salvador Alexandra Hill in relation to independent journalists Esteban Rodríguez and Héctor Luis Valdés Cocho, who were admitted to the Central American country last Wednesday after being forced to leave Cuba.

The position of the Government of El Salvador towards the reporters transcends after it became known that President Nayib Bukele took an interest in them and gave the indication that they be allowed to enter El Salvador, he said this Friday Hill at Miami herald.

“We are doing everything humanly and institutionally possible to welcome them, to give them all the alternative solutions to them,” the diplomat explained. The diplomat added that staying in her country was an alternative and that journalists “cannot and do not want to return to Cuba.”

“Any person exiled from their own country is abominable to us and is a sample of what the Cuban regime is doing with its own citizens.”

In the few hours that they have spent in El Salvador, they received a medical check-up and have had conversations with the Foreign Ministry.

At dawn on January 4, Valdés and Rodríguez, reporters for the independent newspaper DNA Cuba and members of the San Isidro Movement, boarded a Copa flight in Havana that made a stopover in Panama City. Their final destination was Nicaragua, but at the Panamanian airport, they were told, they were informed that they were not admitted to enter Managua.

The air route also had a stopover in El Salvador before continuing to Nicaragua. At the terminal in the Salvadoran capital, more than 24 hours passed before the authorities decided to admit them “while they were being given humanitarian assistance and their immigration situation was resolved.”

Esteban Rodríguez spent eight months in prison since on April 30, 2021, he tried, along with other protesters, to approach the house of artist Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara, who was on a hunger strike. When the police tried to block them, the group started a sit-in to protest against what they considered a limitation of their right to free movement, but they were arrested.

Cuban authorities took Rodríguez to the Havana airport early Tuesday morning directly from prison. Valdés assures that he was also taken to the same terminal, where they were both told that they were expelled and that they could never return to Cuba.

The journalists reported that they were forced to make the decision to leave their country and that their intention was to stay in Nicaragua for a few days before ending up at the place where many Cubans arrive “fleeing the terror perpetuated by a totalitarian system.”

Upon leaving the Salvadoran airport, Valdés wrote in his account Twitter next to a photo that recorded the moment: “This was the image where a nightmare created by a system lacking ethical and civic principles such as the Cuban regime ended. I am unable to thank President Nayib Bukele for solidarity at a time where no We saw light. Thank you to the Salvadoran people. Thank you. “

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