Baptist pastor Who Fled Cuba with his Children Arrives in the United States

Cuban pastor Carlos Sebastián Hernández Armas with his wife and two children. (Facebook)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 21 May 2022 — On Friday, after having requested refuge in El Salvador, Pastor Carlos Sebastián Hernández Armas and his two children have been reunited with his wife in the United States.

“For known reasons, I have been discrete about my departure from Cuba and the way I arrived in the US with my children. The Lord kept me away from all contact on social networks, emails, and telephone lines during the last months, He is wise,” the pastor wrote on his Facebook profile.

Hernández Armas thanked the friends, family and organizations that have helped him during this time, since his flight from Cuba.

On March 1, Hernández Armas made public that he was stranded at the San Salvador airport with his children, after prohibiting them from entering Nicaragua, on a connecting flight. At that time, he denounced that the airline explained to them that they could not continue with their trip to Managua because they did not comply with “certain protocols” due to covid-19. However, he was convinced that “it had been a deal” between Cuba and the government of Daniel Ortega, to boycott his trip.

The known causes to which the pastor now refers are that, before leaving, “he was being persecuted, monitored by the Government of Cuba,” as he recounted two months ago. He was the general secretary of the Baptist Convention of Western Cuba and although he has been questioning the Cuban repression for more than 20 years, as a result of the demonstrations of July 11, he increased his claims more vigorously.

Last March and after four days of waiting at the Salvadoran airport, Hernández Armas and his two sons, Carlos and Enoc, 17 and 10 years old, respectively, accepted a refugee process in the Central American nation. They were taken to a hostel where they stayed for the last two months and then the pastor had to explain to the Salvadoran State the reasons why he could not return to the Island. He said that he was in danger of being imprisoned.

As he had said in his publications, his wife left the island by another route that was not revealed, until she reached the United States.

In January, journalists and activists Héctor Luis Valdés Cocho and Esteban Rodríguez were also stranded at the Salvadoran airport, denied entry to Nicaragua. Both managed to be admitted to that country, but abandoned their refugee process and chose to leave without legal papers, making their way to Mexico where they were detained; however, there they were granted a “visitor’s card for humanitarian reasons,” which helped them to reach the United States.


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