Cuba takes urgent steps to clarify the situation of kidnapped doctors

Havana, Feb 21 (Prensa Latina) The High Level Special Envoy and president of the National People’s Power Assembly (Parliament) of Cuba, Esteban Lazo, is in Kenya taking urgent steps to clear-up the situation of two doctors kidnapped since 2019.

A statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MINREX) of the Caribbean island explains that Lazo will make urgent representations to the highest authorities of Kenya in search of cooperation and clearings in light of the recent news published about the possible unconfirmed death of doctors Assel Herrera Correa and Landy Rodriguez Hernandez.

Unofficial media recently published reports about the alleged death of the Cuban doctors during a U.S. military bombing of positions of the Somali-born terrorist group Al-Shabaab, which took them prisoner on April 12, 2019.

The MINREX statement affirms that since the first hours after receiving the news, the Cuban government has given absolute priority to the efforts that, through various media and different international actors, have been carried out in order to obtain the most objective information on the facts.

That action will be maintained until all possibilities are exhausted to confirm the situation of the Cuban doctors, the note reaffirms.

The Ministry details that, in that context, since Sunday, February 18 and in addition to the negotiations and communication with the Kenyan government, official contacts were initiated with Somalia in search of precision on the military operations reported through unofficial channels.

These media cite the United States African Command (AFRICOM), which reports that the event took place on the night of February 15 during the aforementioned bombing with U.S. drones in the town of Dilib, in Somalia, according to the MINREX.

Cuba, through its Ministry of Foreign Affairs, contacted the U.S. government through diplomatic channels on Sunday, February 18, seeking clarification and is still awaiting a response, the Foreign Ministry statement says.

The note points out that so far there is no public statement from the U.S. government or its armed forces, confirming or denying the news involving our health collaborators.

Likewise, the circumstances and characteristics of the military operation that the AFRICOM spokeswoman confirms to have occurred are unknown, as well as whether this (operation) was justified, and whether it was carried out with the mandatory care to avoid collateral damage, to protect civilians and innocent people, and with due respect for international humanitarian law, the MINREX warns.

Such actions are an issue about which international organizations have expressed serious concerns in the past, the note concludes.

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