Sentenced to Eight Years in Prison in Cuba, Diasniurka Salcedo Arrives in Miami

Diasniurka Salcedo reunites in Miami with her son, whom she hadn’t seen for nine months

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 26 March 2024 — “I’m free.” With these words, Diasniurka Salcedo Verdecia confirmed on Monday her arrival in Miami (Florida), after spending several days detained in a migrant center in Arizona, on the border with Mexico.

Salcedo also traveled with two of the five children she took care of in Cuba – children of abusive parents or prisoners – after her demonstration last November with several mothers in front of the Ministry of Public Health. The regime gave her the choice between leaving the country before January 15 or serving eight years in prison.

“They told me that he (Alain) must stay because someone had to be detained so that I would be silent,” Salcedo said   

Salcedo Verdecia surrendered at the beginning of last week to the Border Patrol in Arizona – after making the crossing from Nicaragua to the southern border of the United States – and remained incommunicado for several days. This Tuesday, the activist landed at Miami International Airport, where her son and relatives received her.

In a video published by Telemundo, the activist explained that she cannot return to the Island, because she was “threatened.” She  also said that last January, at Havana International Airport and about to board the flight to Managua, State Security agents prevented Alain, another of the minors she cares for and whom she planned to take with her, from leaving the country. “They told me that he must stay because someone had to be detained so that I would be silent,” she told the television station.

Asked about the March 17 (17M) demonstrations in Santiago de Cuba and other provinces, Salcedo said that they are a clear sign that “the regime has little left.” “They know it and that’s why there’s so much repression.”

Salcedo said that the 17M demonstrations are a clear sign that “the regime has little left”   

Due to the warnings by State Security and a sentence of eight years in prison – suspended on the condition that she leave the country – Salcedo cannot return to Cuba. The ruling was issued in January by the Municipal Court of Alquízar, which accused her of the crimes of enemy propaganda, incitement to commit crimes, insulting patriotic symbols and defamation against a public figure. However, she stated that she will continue with her activism from the United States.

Prior to her exile, and after the protest in front of Public Health – in which she and other mothers asked for medical attention for their children with chronic diseases – the activist said she was a victim of a discredit campaign by the regime. On December 8, she explained on her social networks that the threats were a way to withdraw 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 infants.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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