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Cuban doctor: “A part of me died in the Darien jungle”

Cuban doctor Alexander Jesús Figueredo Izaguirre recounted the most important details about his journey through Central America and Mexico to reach the United States and stated that a part of him died in the Darién jungle, a dangerous transit area for illegal immigrants, located between Colombia and Panama.

“I have not written for a long time, I have not had time, it has hurt my hair and it is not literal, I have been in temperatures below 0 and more than 38 degrees, I have walked more than 100 km, slept on the floor, in a church, crossing trails, rivers, seas and jungles,” the doctor wrote on his Facebook account.

Figueredo Izaguirre recounted that in the Darién he suffered a lot seeing lost children and dead people without being able to stop to do anything for them, even thinking that the next one could be him, since the conditions in that area were a real challenge for those who dare to crossing.

“I have my physical and human conditions at the limit, God does not give burdens to any child that they cannot bear, I think that the weight has passed with me, since the permanent harassment in Cuba, my profession, my family, and now all this , but it has made me stronger physically and ideologically, I hope that its reward will be to give me strength and life to fight for a free Cuba and to embrace my own again,” added the doctor in his publication.

Figueredo Izaguirre was a victim of constant repression and harassment by the Cuban dictatorship, for which he received messages of support in his publication. “So shall! It is difficult to be in Cuba and it is also difficult to be an immigrant, Central America and Mexico are very dangerous, but they are going to pay for all the damage they have done to us, we have more youth and more years to achieve our goals. Strength brother!” Said an Internet user.

“Oh doctor, how sad. But of course, he is going to have his reward or already has it: the price of many. God protects him and gives him strength”, “How hard everything he has lived, I only hope that they successfully reach their destination and that so much pain will one day be rewarded for good”, added other users of the social network.

In April of this year, Figueredo Izaguirre and fellow doctor Alexander Raúl Pupo Casas asked for help to escape the island in the face of increased harassment against them for denouncing the shortcomings of the Cuban health system. For their activism they were expelled from their workplaces.

Shortly after the first of them drilled to leave the country and undertake a dangerous journey to the United States. Revealing the beginning of his journey, Figueredo Izaguirre assures that “I will return the day you are free, where thinking differently is not a crime. Where you are not paid with death for wanting life. Where you are measured by your intellect, not by your ideology. Only then I will be back”.

At the end of May, it transpired that the two doctors were together and that they continued on their way to the northern border of Mexico. Pupo Casas published a photo on his Facebook profile in which both are seen, along with other Cubans, walking through a mountain.

“It seems easy but it’s not… Dangers are everywhere and you’re always tense…” he wrote. Young people are part of those thousands of Cubans who prefer to risk their lives to escape the country and the repression.

Recently, the immigration authorities of Panama confirmed that more than 2,000 Cubans crossed the Darién Jungle in the first five months of 2022. According to official data at the Migration Control Posts (PCM), the passage of 1,892,914 people was captured between January and May.

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José Martí
José Martí
Nacionalista cubano, poeta, filósofo, ensayista, periodista, traductor, profesor y editor.

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