Cuban TV host seeking asylum stuck in Colombian airport
Bogota, Colombia — A Cuban journalist who fled the island nation told media outlets Thursday she has been stuck in a Bogota airport for five days waiting for updates on her claim of asylum.
“I couldn’t work, I couldn’t publish anything, so with my husband … I had to leave the country,” said Yailen Insua, a journalist with Cuba’s state TV channel, in an interview broadcast on the Colombian station CityTV.
“I published things which had been banned, and that created a lot of problems for me with Cuba’s political system,” she added.
In another interview, Insua explained that her original plan was to transfer to Bogota onto another flight for Nicaragua, which does not require travel visas for Cubans.
But once she arrived in the Colombian capital on February 5, the airline prevented her from boarding her connecting flight, telling her that “Nicaragua had not authorized her entry into its territory,” she said.
“I asked the (Colombian) government for asylum, because I am not going to return to Cuba … my life is in danger,” she added.
Cubans are required to have a visa to enter Colombia.
In response to an AFP inquiry, a spokesperson for Colombia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that it was not responsible for “handling requests from refugees presented by foreign citizens in transit zones.”
The immigration department specified that airlines can decide not to allow passengers to fly, if there is a problem with travel documents or Nicaragua got involved.
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