14ymedio, Havana, 19 September 2019 — Yariel Valdés González, a collaborator withTremenda Nota and Washington Blade, has obtained political asylum in the United States, where he arrived last March by way of the Mexican border.
“I am very happy and extremely grateful to this country for giving me the opportunity to live in total freedom, far from the persecution of which I was a victim in Cuba due to my work as a freelance journalist,” Valdés told the Washington Blade.
Valdés, 29, entered the United States on March 27 and was transferred on May 3 to Louisiana from the Tallahatchee County correctional facility in Tutwiler, Mississippi.
The reporter appeared before Judge Timothy Cole of the Bossier Parish Security Center in Plain Dealing (Louisiana) on Wednesday, where he remains in the United States Customs Immigration and Control Center (ICE). According to the information in the US newspaper, it is unknown when he will leave this place and if ICE will accept or appeal the court ruling.
“My friend and colleague Yariel Valdés González has his second hearing this morning with an Immigration judge in Louisiana. He has requested asylum in the US for the persecution suffered in his native Cuba for being a journalist. His colleagues at the Washington Blade, Los Angeles Blade and I am with you. We look forward to the day when Yariel can live a better life, without fear, in this country,” wrote Michael K. Lavers hours earlier; Lavers is an editor and reporter for an American publication addressed to the LGBT community.
Lavers was rejected by Cuban immigration authorities last May, on the last of his many trips to Cuba. The journalist arrived on the Island from Miami on an American Airlines flight and, after landing at Havana’s José Martí International Airport, he was interrogated and searched after which he was told that he must return to the United States.
The day before the constitutional referendum on February 24, the Cuban government blocked the Tremenda Nota website. A month later, Valdés arrived in California.
“I can start my life again in this country,” the reporter told the Blade.
“I hope to continue my career as a journalist from here and continue the fight for a more democratic Cuba for the 11 million Cubans who have resisted and resisted this dictatorial regime that has been in power for six decades,” he added.
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