14ymedio, Havana, 14 January 2024 — Diasniurka Salcedo Verdecia made public her departure from Cuba last Thursday after being sentenced to eight years of deprivation of liberty, she said. The Cuban activist published on her Facebook account the details of her forced exile and the harassment she suffered until boarding the flight at Havana International Airport.
In the sentence, handed down by the Municipal Court of Alquízar, where Salcedo Verdecia resided, she is charged with the crimes of enemy propaganda, instigation to commit a crime, insult to national symbols and defamation against a public figure. The document adds that the sentence would be served in the penitentiary institution determined by the Ministry of the Interior.
She is charged with the crimes of enemy propaganda, instigation to commit a crime, insult to national symbols and defamation against a public figure
“I had to leave Cuba, I had to leave most of my children behind. Only two options for me: leave Cuba, my homeland, my land, the one I love and for which I have fought head-on for more than 14 years, or enter to prison to serve an unjust sentence of 8 years, despite the appeals. I had to leave Alain despite having a ticket for him, the dictatorship told me NO,” she wrote on her profile on the social network.
In the videos that Salcedo Verdecia shared from the airport, her ticket shows that she would board flight AG 931 on Aruba Airlines, which covers the route Havana-Managua, capital of Nicaragua. According to the ticket seen in her hands, she left on January 11, although the activist did not offer details of the date or the destination of the aircraft.
Salcedo Verdecia points out that she was only allowed to leave with two of the five minors who have been in her custody for four years, children of abusive parents or those who are in prison. Apparently her husband Jorge Hernández Ramos also remains on the Island, and has suffered harassment from the regime for systematically denouncing human rights violations on the Island.
Among the signs of support that Salcedo Verdecia has received through Facebook, the one from Amelia Calzadilla, a Cuban activist now based in Madrid, stands out. Calzadilla was also forced into exile for her repeated complaints about the painful situation currently being experienced in the Island.
Among the signs of support that Salcedo Verdecia has received through Facebook, the one from Amelia Calzadilla, a Cuban activist now based in Madrid, stands out
“I know how much she regrets having to leave Cuba, I even know that it destroys her to walk away from those children who, not being her biological children, she loves with the same intensity that I love the ones I saw born from my womb,” Calzadilla posted on her profile.
On December 8, Salcedo Verdecia denounced that she was the victim of a discredit campaign by the regime, whose final action was to threaten her with withdrawing custody of the minors in her care. However, a week later, at the hearing held in the Municipal Court of Alquízar, she was granted custody of the children.
However, the activist described that as “the worst of her days” because she considered the trial as a way to intimidate her for having participated in a protest with several mothers in front of the Ministry of Public Health. Women demanded quality medical care for their chronically ill children.
COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORK: The 14ymedio team is committed to practicing serious journalism that reflects Cuba’s reality in all its depth. Thank you for joining us on this long journey. We invite you to continue supporting us by becoming a member of 14ymedio now. Together we can continue transforming journalism in Cuba.