The Cuban president, Miguel Díaz-Canel, assured Friday the family of Dr. Assel Herrera, one of the two doctors kidnapped in Kenya nine months ago by alleged members of the Somali jihadist group Al Shabab, that steps are taken “without rest” to your release
Díaz-Canel said that they work in coordination with the Kenyan authorities to get back to the island of Herrera, a specialist in Comprehensive General Medicine, and his colleague, Landy Rodríguez, according to a review published on the Presidency website from Cuba.
Cuban doctors were abducted on April 12 near the border with Somalia, when they were on their way to work in the hospital in the Kenyan city of Mandera accompanied by armed escorts.
The vehicle in which the Cuban doctors were traveling was intercepted and after a shooting in which one of their custodians died both were held by their captors that the Nairobi Government believes belong to Al Shabab, a Somali group that adhered to al Qaeda in 2012 and usually raids in Kenya to carry out reprisal attacks for the presence of its Army in Somalia.
During a meeting with relatives of the doctor Assel Herrera in the eastern province of Las Tunas – where they reside – President Díaz-Canel reiterated the “total support” of his Government in the midst of the “unfortunately long and complex” process to get his return to the country Caribbean
The governor was interested in knowing details of the health of the parents, the university studies of the daughter of the kidnapped doctor, the support they receive from their neighbors, tells the report published next to a photo.
At the end of December 2019, Díaz-Canel informed through his official Twitter account that he had talked with his counterparts in Kenya, Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta, and Somalia, Abdullahi Mohamed about the efforts made to free the two doctors Cubans
Months ago, the Cuban Minister of Public Health, José Ángel Portal, had indicated that “all possible actions” are carried out for the return of Herrera and Rodríguez, although he warned that the process is “complex” and that it requires “time and discretion for your success. “
On January 12, the Kenyan Executive spokesman, Cyrus Oguna, told EFE that they know with certainty that Cuban doctors “are fine, but the plan to guarantee their rescue continues.”
“We want to release them alive so they can reunite with their families,” Oguna said.
The kidnapped specialists are part of a brigade of 101 Cuban professionals that includes radiologists, surgeons, orthopedics, neurologists and nephrologists arrived in Kenya in 2018 by a bilateral agreement to improve access to health services in that East African nation.
After the event, the Kenyan authorities relocated Cuban doctors deployed in Kenyan counties bordering Somalia in safer areas, where Al Shabab seeks to establish a Wahhabi (ultraconservative) Islamic state.