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  • Cuba's President Miguel Diaz-Canel during an official visit in Hanoi, Vietnam, Nov. 9, 2018.

    Cuba's President Miguel Diaz-Canel during an official visit in Hanoi, Vietnam, Nov. 9, 2018. | Photo: Reuters

Published 16 April 2019 (20 hours 43 minutes ago)

The Cuban authorities have designated specialized staff to take care of the doctors' relatives while the situation is resolved.

President Miguel Diaz-Canel said Sunday his administration is working tirelessly for the return of the two Cuban doctors who were kidnapped in Kenya on April 12.

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"Cuba tirelessly strives for the safe return of Assel and Landy, our doctors kidnapped in Kenya," Diaz-Canel wrote on Twitter and stressed that "their humanitarian mission will be respected and recognized. We believe in the power of solidarity."

The Cuban doctors, Assel Herrera, an integral general medicine specialist, and Landy Rodriguez, a surgery specialist, were kidnapped while they were being escorted to a hospital in Mandera, a town located in a northeastern county of Kenya which borders Somalia and Ethiopia.

Although the unexpected news shocked them, the doctors' relatives say they have confidence in the authorities. "I have full confidence that my son will come back sooner or later," Doctor Rodriguez's mother, Martha, said, adding that "the Revolution has never abandoned any of its children and this time it will be same."

She confirmed that the Cuban government has kept her well informed of her son's case. She also said her son told his family he was happy about working in Kenya because" he was assisting very poor people who had never seen a doctor before."

Doctor Herrera's relatives have also received their compatriots' support and solidarity.

Gregory Perez, a provincial health official, explained that a special commission was created to take care of Assel's daughter and parents at Las Delicias.

"His parents received a visit from a Ministry official who explained everything his country is doing for their son's return," Perez said and pointed out that "a doctor, a nurse and a psychologist have been permanently assigned to them due to their age."

Ruciel Tamayo, the director of the Cuban hospital where Assel used to work, told media outlets that his institution appointed specialized staff to visit the doctor's daughter every day.

"His 12th-grade girl also wants to be a doctor," Tamayo commented, adding that she knows that "the Cuban government has never left anyone alone."

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