Journalists Héctor Valdés and Esteban Rodríguez were expelled by the Cuban dictatorship and are stranded at the El Salvador airport. The information confirmed it Juan Pappier, Senior Researcher in the Americas Division of Human Rights Watch.
“Journalists @ HectorValdes_91 and Esteban Rodríguez have been expelled from Cuba. I just spoke to them. They are stranded at the El Salvador airport, ”Pappier said on Twitter.
And I add: “Esteban was released from jail on the condition that he leave the country. Report torture. We call on governments to grant them asylum ”.
Cuban newspaper detailed that communicators have been stranded for more than 24 hours at the San Salvador airport, El Salvador, where they stopped to continue heading to Nicaragua.
The aforementioned media reported that reporters from DNA Cuba were informed during the second leg of the trip that the Daniel Ortega regime would not allow them to enter.
Valdés himself, one of the affected journalists, wrote on his Facebook account: “Just at 9:30 PM, the time the last flight to Nicaragua arrived, They call us on the loudspeaker and tell us that the Nicaraguan dictatorship has prohibited Esteban and me from entering. They never gave us an explanation, much less a possible solution to this problem that arose.”.
According to what he related, the Cuban regime Police took them to the José Martí International Airport at dawn on January 4.
“Esteban still has the marks left by the so-called ‘Shakiras’ on his feet. All that time in which the tears were not lacking; they were there remembering that we were expelled and that we could never return”, Continued his writing.
Cuban newspaper reported that the departure of Valdés It was one of the conditions imposed by the Díaz-Canel dictatorship to free Rodríguez, who was tortured in the Combinado del Este after “peacefully demanding the rights of all Cubans and managing to see a friend who was on a hunger and thirst strike, as was the case with Luis Manuel Otero Alcantara”.
Then he repeated: “Yesterday, January 4 of this year, for not knowing how to tolerate a different opinion and recognizing that 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 bound for Nicaragua”.
The expulsion of the journalists occurs after it became known that a total of 3,300 protests took place last year in Cuba, according to a study by the Cuban Conflict Observatory initiative.
The year 2021 was marked in Cuba by the massive anti-government protests of July 11, unprecedented on the island and a consequence of the serious economic crisis that the island is experiencing due to the pandemic, the tightening of US sanctions and national mismanagement.
A third of these protests, 1,107 according to the OCC count, had “economic and social reasons”, and the remaining two thirds, 2,193 acts, had “political and civil reasons”.
The study, which does not offer a year-on-year comparison, does show that This December there were 246 protests, more than double the 122 in December 2020.
For months, highlights the conflict in July, with 584 acts of these characteristics.
The report also highlights that the vast majority of the political protests in December were linked to the trials and convictions of the July 11 protesters and that in many cases they were carried out or led by women (mothers, wives and sisters of the courts).