14ymedio, Havana, 21 July 2022 — “Family, we are now in the United States.” With that phrase Cuban doctors Alexander Pupo and Alexander Jesús Figueredo reported on Thursday through Facebook that their three-month journey had ended. The doctors were forced to leave the island after being harassed by the regime.
“I am free, and soon my Cuba will be to take care of my people again,” Figueredo said. He clarified that his arrival in the United States was due to the fact that he “has been fleeing the Cuban nightmare” and was not in search of the American dream.
“[I brought] with me a bag of dreams that I never achieved on the island, some papers, a cell phone and my medical stamp, with which I once treated thousands of patients,” explained the health worker, who lost his job due to his confrontational stance against the Government. “There’s nothing here for me, but I will remember that one day I was #108356.”
According to figures from the Customs and Border Protection Department, in the past nine months, 157,339 Cubans arrived by land in the United States. Of these, 16,170 requested political refuge in June alone.
Just on July 7, Pupo announced the dangers and insecurity faced by migrants on their journey to reach the United States. “Guatemala has been a total hell,” the doctor said in a video he posted on his Facebook account. “We had to hide from the police again,” he said as a group was watched hiding behind in the undergrowth.
Pupo reiterated that “in Guatemala, an immigrant lives with fear always present. The police mainly pursue Cuban emigrants to extort them.”
The health worker said on that occasion that “the coyotes were bad” and, because they didn’t pay the bribe to the officers, the group with which they were traveling had to go into the mountains.
“We’ve practically had to become soldiers in here: jumping fences, hiding and trying to evade all the dangers among the pica pica* bushes,” the doctor explained. “It seems that the shocks are never going to end.”
Pupo recalled that from Nicaragua, his journey to reach the United States had been one complication after another. “Unbelievable what we have experienced in these last few hours: going hungry and in need… I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone.”
Before this publication, Pupo had confessed to 14ymedio that they had the most difficult emigration: without visas, without the support of diplomats, practically without money. “And there were those who said that we were financed, that we were well paid by the CIA,” he added ironically.
*Translator’s note: Source: The scientific name for Pica pica is Mucuna. The course hairs on the pods contain the proteolytic enzyme mucunain which cause the itch and sometimes blisters.
Translated by Regina Anavy
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