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Cuba repeats its willingness to clarify kidnapped doctors’ situation

Saturday April 13, 2024

Havana (Prensa Latina) Cuba on Friday expressed its willingness to continue to take steps to clarify the situation of Doctors Assel Herrera Correa and Landy Rodríguez Hernández, who were doctors kidnapped and are presumed dead.

In a statement published on Friday, the Foreign Ministry (MINREX) assured that Cuba maintains communication with the United States in search of information and “will not cease in hope or effort until it learns the truth.”

The Foreign Ministry stressed that the absence of information and a prompt and adequate response from the Government of the United States prevents it from having accurate elements to offer the relatives and the Cuban people a conclusive version of what happened.

“We await an official response to the inquiries that Cuba has respectfully presented, with elements that the civil and military agencies of the United States that operate in Somalia and in that region of the world can provide,” the MINREX noted.

It reiterated Cuba’s gratitude to the governments of Kenya, Somalia and other countries for their efforts.

The statement recalled that five years are marked on Friday since the doctors were kidnapped in Kenya, where they were serving as part of an intergovernmental cooperation agreement in which they participated voluntarily.

The MINREX stressed that since the news about “the vile and absurd kidnapping” became known, the governments of Kenya, Somalia and Cuba made countless and huge efforts to rescue the two physicians and return them home.

It noted that this unprecedented event in Cuba’s long history of International Medical Cooperation has been guided by the leader of the Revolution, Raúl Castro, and permanently monitored by the Communist Party of Cuba, the State and the Government, headed by President Miguel Díaz-Canel, and other authorities.

The MINREX indicated that on February 17, news was received about the alleged deaths of Assel Herrera Correa and Landy Rodríguez Hernández, victims of an air raid by US military forces operating in Somalia on February 15.

It stressed that despite the multiple efforts made by the Cuban Government, no information or evidence has been obtained that would allow us to reach definitive conclusions and clarify whether the doctors are still alive or confirm their deaths.

The Foreign Ministry explained that so far, it has been possible to specify that on the night of February 15, the Africa Command of the United States Armed Forces, responsible for operations in Somalia and other nations on the continent, carried out an air attack on the area where the Cuban doctors were.

“Given the nature of the conflict in Somalia and the impossibility of getting confirmation, in recent weeks Cuba has repeatedly requested, through direct communications and diplomatic notes to the US Government, precise information about the events that occurred,” the statement said.

Upon insistence, the US confirmed that an attack took place in the area where the doctors were, but without precise clarification regarding the location, the text added.

It noted that US authorities have initiated an investigation; however, the MINREX stated that, to date, Washington has not responded with the seriousness or urgency required.


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