Cuba’s Minister of Public Health, Dr. José Ángel Portal Miranda, assured on July 5 in statements to the press, that the government has not ceased for a moment in its efforts to ensure the safe return to our country of Cuban doctors Assel Herrera Correa and Landy Rodríguez Hernández, abducted April 12, while providing health services in the Kenyan county of Mandera.
Minister Portal recalled that, as part of the effort, Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez spoke by telephone with his counterparts in Kenya and Somalia, while First Vice President Salvador Valdés Mesa met with Kenya’s Chancellor and Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla has maintained a permanent dialogue with the Ministers of Foreign Affairs in both countries.
The Cuban Minister of Health reported that he has held several conversations and a personal meeting with Kenya’s Minister of Health and is in regular contact with the head of the Cuban medical brigade in that country. He said Kenyan authorities have stated that the two doctors are alive and that all possible steps are being taken to achieve their return to our country. "This is a complex process, which takes time," he added.
“To date, no one has requested any kind of action in exchange for the freedom of our doctors, despite some news reports that appeared, and were later denied," he said.
Minister Portal likewise stressed that families of the two doctors in Las Tunas and Villa Clara are receiving regular support, and kept informed of actions taken. He has personally visited relatives and conveyed his confidence in the government’s efforts, "which has never abandoned one of our sons.
"He recalled that a brigade of 101 Cuban doctors is working in Kenya, and has been recognized by authorities and the Kenyan people.
This work, which he described as "unquestionable," is one example of Cuban medical collaboration that has saved the lives of millions of people, in tens of thousands of communities around the world.
Minister Portal also expressed his gratitude for the concern, interest, and solidarity shown by our people. "We are giving permanent attention to this sensitive issue; nothing similar has ever occurred in the history of Cuban collaboration and we will not rest until our compatriots return safely to the homeland," he concluded.