‘A Part of Me Died in the Darien Jungle’ says Dr. Figueredo on His Crossing to the United States

Doctors Alexander Pupo (far right) and Alexander Jesús Figueredo (far left) on their passage through Colombia. (Facebook/Alexander Jesús Figueredo Izaguirre)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 20 June 2022 — Dr. Alexander Jesús Figueredo Izaguirre, who lost his job due to his stance against the Cuban government and after being systematically harassed left the island, shared part of his journey to the United States on his social networks.

“A part of me died in the Darién jungle seeing lost children, drowned and dead people and unable to do anything but just look and continue,” published the Cuban health worker who along with his colleague Alexander Pupo Casas left Cuba and took the route from Guyana. “To think that the next one could be me, my physical and human strength was at the limit.”

According to official figures from the National Migration Service as of April of this year, 11,487 irregular migrants had crossed the Darién jungle, of which 15 were Venezuelans, 6,803 Haitians and 1,885 Cubans.

Figueredo says that “even my hair hurt,” and he faced temperatures below 32F and of more than 100F. He walked sections of more than 60 miles, “sleeping on the ground, in a church, crossing trails, rivers, seas and jungles.”

Cuban health workers Alexander Pupo and Alexander Jesús Figueredo in Capurganá (Colombia). (Facebook/Alexander Jesús Figueredo Izaguirre)

“The adversities I have had to overcome,” he says, have made him “stronger physically and ideologically.” In his message he points out that “God doesn’t give anyone more than they can bear. I let Him carry the weight, from the permanent harassment in Cuba to my profession and my family.”

The Cuban doctor hopes that as a reward he will have “strength and life to fight for a free Cuba and embrace my family again.”

On his Facebook page he also shared other images together with Dr. Pupo of the route they took to reach the United States and why they had to go through Brazil, Colombia, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador. And one more, Capurganá, a village in the municipality of Acandí, belonging to Chocó (Colombia), an obligatory point before going into the Darién jungle.

“We are right now at the border between Peru and Ecuador,” he narrates in another video published on the same social network by Dr. Alexander Pupo, which records part of the journey before arriving in Colombia. “We are passing through; we had to come here because we are going to get on a bus that will take us out of this area.” And Figueredo says: “Homeland and life in Peru and Ecuador.”

Last May Dr. Pupo published an image at the foot of the InterCaribbean Airways plane with the text “Goodbye, my beautiful Cuba.” The doctor pointed out in a video his pain for leaving the island, “but I hope that one day I’ll be able to return when I’m free to fight for a free Cuba.”

Translated by Regina Anavy


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