Popular television personality and news presenter for the Cuban Television Information system, Yuninho Rodriguez, is heading to the United States to escape the "hopelessness" he that exists in the communist nation of Cuba.
"My journey began like that of thousands of other Cubans who in recent months... decided to leave to escape from so much rotten s***, from lies and from hopelessness," Rodriguez posted on Facebook Thursday from Mexico, Barron’s reported.
According to the report, Rodriguez, who is known in Cuba by the stage name "Junior Smith," said he believed in the communist system, but became disillusioned with the failing economy on the island, and a crackdown on dissenters by the government last summer.
In an article with the Cuban exile owned CiberCuba news portal, Rodriguez said that in addition to the corruption he faced while working for the state-run news agency, he was also concerned about the "deepening of social gaps, hunger and food lines," in the nation.
While he said he tried to be "a good citizen" for the regime, he feared retribution.
"Early on I learned that facing the government means going to prison, receiving blows, mistreatment, torture; it means isolated time without your family knowing about you, hunger strikes in defense of rights; family pain, worries, separation," he said. "And in the end, nothing changes."
Anti-government activists, however, said that Rodriguez is one of the regime’s perpetrators of human rights violations.
The defense organization for human rights and the freedom of the people of Cuba, CubaSpaces, denounced the official journalist "Junior Smith" before the immigration authorities of the United States, with the aim of frustrating his request for asylum in the country, CiberCuba reported.
The organization’s legal team went as far as filing an official complaint with U.S immigration against Rodriguez to prevent him from staying in the United States once he gets there from Mexico.
"This person is not an asylum seeker, he is part of the repressive force of the dictatorial government of Cuba," CubaSpaces posted on Twitter.
In the actual complaint, the organization accuses Rodrieguez of supporting "Dictator Diaz Canel’s ‘combat order’ on July 11," and that he encouraged "the communists to repress the people."
Rodriguez said he is willing to face repercussions in the United States if it means he can be free.
"I am writing this without having arrived in the United States yet, and with the possibility of deportation, return, and the consequences that being in Cuba would bring me after speaking," he said.
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