Cuban television news system journalist Yunior Smith, known for his critical analysis of U.S. politics and reality, announced that he has reached the U.S. southern border, and will probably apply for political asylum.
According to what he posted on his Facebook profile, he got tired “of plowing in the sand and decided to leave, to escape from so much rotten shit, from the lies, from the hopelessness”.
The image accompanying the post shows the shod feet of two people, the shoes muddy with mud, which seems to suggest that he made part of the trip irregularly and accompanied by another person, apparently a woman.
Smith is known for his harsh criticism of the U.S. government on Noticiero Estelar, a position that many have criticized and have called him a hypocrite since he is married to a U.S. citizen with whom he recently had a daughter.
However, Smith is not the first journalist or person linked to the media in Cuba who, after leaving the island, has made statements about his opposition to the government.
Previously, broadcaster Frank Abel, Matanzas journalist Raúl Almeida and journalist and news program director Yailin Insua, made similar statements to U.S. and Colombian media to justify their request for political asylum in those countries.
Although these cases have been the most known, there are others that have not been made public and other new ones that we will know in the coming days.
Some users and colleagues have criticized Smith’s position, who even deleted from his social networks any allusion of political support to the Cuban government, leaving only photos and publications of a family nature.
However, in the live transmissions of newscasts and audiovisual materials published on Canal Caribe’s Facebook page, there is evidence of old programs -and other more recent ones- where Smith shows his support to the Cuban government and which coincide with that stage in which, according to him, “he was moving away”.
Excerpts from Yunior Smith’s Facebook post
My journey began like that of thousands of other Cubans who in recent months cry their eyes out while embracing their family. A bitter, heartbreaking cry, for the possibility of not seeing them again, of dying on the way; a cry of those that cause pain in the chest, that leave emptiness and break the soul because no one would like to stop seeing their loved ones, to leave their life project, their friends, the place where they were born.
My journey began there, with mine, with tears, pain and a lot of resentment towards the demonic government that causes divisions of families, truncated dreams, lives fucked forever by a mean policy, loaded with arrogance, resentment and the fucking lie that makes everything murky, dark, uncertain.
But my journey also began before. Much earlier. I gradually drifted away as I studied the realities of other countries and found no solutions for the one in my country. It started when I began to notice that “the blockade” is not to blame for all the failed policies that time and again are initiated as redemptive solutions to a dead economy, that get nowhere, nor is it to blame for abuse, deceit, bureaucracy, corruption and the many bad internal decisions.
I was deeply disappointed by the stores in MLC (freely convertible currency), with the lies with which they adorned the decision and the lies with which they justified all the shit they set up; the deepening of social gaps, hunger, the immense queues, made up again by the “government”, doing what it knows best: looking for culprits, blaming the people, the people, the coleros, and imposing fines left and right, because they are experts in imposing fear, their best weapon to keep themselves standing for so many years.
I recognize that I was a convinced and a romantic in love with the system. That is how it was instilled in me for years, and although I found mistakes, and I always criticized, I did it with a blurred vision because of the concepts acquired since I was a child: “everything would be better without the blockade”, “this government seeks the good of all”, “a better world is possible”…. I was deluded.
Hardly anyone knows that I have a brother who is a political prisoner, Kessell Rodriguez. From very early on I learned that confronting the government means going to jail, being beaten, mistreated, tortured; it means time in isolation without your family knowing about you, hunger strikes in defense of your rights; family pain, worries, separation. And in the end nothing changes. I did not want that for my life or for my family.
I fell into disgrace: I married a U.S. citizen. I tried, as best I could, to face the evidence, but I was less and less willing to keep quiet, to keep my head down. I found myself involved many times in a war that was of no benefit to me, that I did not start and that I had no arguments to defend.