14ymedio, Madrid, 10 February 2022 — Yailén Insúa Alarcón, former director of the Cuban Television Information System and of the magazine Buenos Días, has been stranded at the Bogotá airport since Saturday, February 5, and has asked the Colombian government for asylum because, she alleges, “if she returns to Cuba, her life is in danger.”
The journalist, speaking from the El Dorado airport, where she is with her husband, said that she left Cuba for Colombia with Nicaragua as her final destination. Upon her arrival in Bogotá, however, she was told that she was wanted in Havana for being regulated, a term applied to a provision of the Ministry of the Interior that prohibits a Cuban from leaving the national territory. According to her thesis, the Immigration officials on the Island must not have been aware of her status and allowed her to board the plane.
However, once in Bogotá, the Colombian authorities informed her that Nicaragua did not authorize her entry or that of her husband, Boris Luis Ramos Salgado, a member of the Yoruba Cultural Society of Cuba. According to what Insúa Alarcón told Caracol TV, he is diabetic and is in a delicate state of health.
“I asked the Colombian government for asylum, because I am not going to return to Cuba because my life is in danger,” she insisted.
Yailen Insua Alarcón told Univisión 23 that the Cuban government had threatened her with six months in prison since she showed images of Celia Cruz on television.
“I am leaving Cuba because I was in a situation that I could no longer resolve. Since 2017, I cannot work in what I studied, in journalism, I do other work because Security always makes an issue of the difference in thinking that I have with the system that there is in my country,” she said.
Last year, the journalist collaborated with Radio Cadena Habana, the music station of the channel of the Cuban Institute of Radio and Television (ICRT).
Colombian television contacted Avianca, the airline on which the couple planned to continue their journey, to find out the reasons why the couple was prevented from boarding the plane. “The customers arrived from Cuba without complying with the necessary documentation to board and fly the Bogotá-Nicaragua route (specifically a shipment guarantee from the Ministry of Health of the destination country),” the company responded.
“These travelers do not have a transport contract with Avianca. The airline is attentive to resolving their situation,” he added.
The journalist affirms that the indication given to her is that one of the PCR tests for Covid was invalid, but she questions this reason because they were the same ones with which they left the Island. “I don’t understand how they let me leave from one side and not on the other. No. The problem is that the Nicaraguan government did not allow me access,” she claims.
The Government of Daniel Ortega has agreed with Havana on free entry for Cubans, but also on the application of restrictive measures for opponents of the island’s regime.
The precedent most similar to that of Insúa Alarcón is Managua’s decision to prevent the entry of independent journalists Esteban Rodríguez and Héctor Luis Cocho last January when they were trying to reach Nicaragua from El Salvador, a country to which they requested refuge, which was granted, although a few days later they abandoned it to continue their journey.
According to the website EcuRed, which followed her professional career until 2015, Insúa Alarcón worked in the Ministry of the Revolutionary Armed Forces. She was a delegate at the XVI World Festival of Youth and Students in Venezuela and at the VII National Congress of the University Student Federation (FEU).
In addition, she was a member of the Primary Committee of the Communist Party (PCC) in the Union of Cuban Television Workers and a deputy in the National Assembly of People’s Power during the VII Legislature (2008-2013).
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