The Granting of Asylum to Daniela Rojo Feeds the Hope of Other Cubans in Germany

Daniela Rojo, in the image she disseminated on her social networks after hearing the news of the granting of her asylum in Germany. (Facebook)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana,11 August 2023 — Activist Daniela Rojo, who left the Island with her two children a little more than a year ago after receiving pressure and threats from State Security, could not contain her emotion this Thursday, when she was granted asylum by Germany.

During this time, she told 14ymedio by phone, they were in four different shelters for migrants. The first was in Frankfurt, where they arrived on May 15, 2022. From there they were transferred to Bavaria, where they were in two centers. In one of them, Rojo was able to work on the cleaning team. After six months in that shelter, they were moved to where they are now, in Nuremberg, in a larger and better maintained center.

It has not been easy, she tells this newspaper, while confessing to having spent months “with a lot of depression and loneliness”: “The process was very hard, especially because of the culture shock, to see how people live in this country and to be so limited by not knowing the language, for not understanding the culture and how things are here.”

The best thing was that “many Cubans arrived, and with them I  found support, a family to turn to.” One of them was the rapper Denis Solís, whose arrest and summary trial triggered the strike of the San Isidro Movement in November 2020. Others were relatives of Andy García Lorenzo, one of those sentenced to prison for demonstrating on July 11, 2021 in Santa Clara.

All of them, like Rojo, applied for asylum in Germany. Now, with this news, says the young woman, “they have been very excited and happy, because it sets a legal precedent for the granting of asylum to them as well.”

Upon arriving in Nuremberg, Rojo’s children have been able to start going to school, and she herself has already taken German classes, although not official courses, which she will be able to access from now on. “With this change of status I already have many more possibilities, state aid, access to work and integration courses,” she says, excited.

The young woman was a moderator of the Archipelago platform and an architect in Guanabacoa of the initiative for the march called for November 15, 2021 throughout Cuba. Since then, she was one of the members who suffered the most harassment and threats from State Security.

Rojo was kidnapped by the political police and spent five days in a house of the Ministry of the Interior in the custody of several agents shortly before the peaceful protests called for November.

In addition, for participating in the 11 July 2021 (11J) demonstration, she spent 23 days in prison. The young mother was accused of public disorder and contempt, both common crimes, for which the Prosecutor’s Office requested five years in prison.  She was released after paying 2,000 pesos for bail.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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