Yariel Valdés González

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Yariel Valdés González
Born 1990 (age 28–29)
Nationality Cuban
Occupation journalist
Known for ICE has appealed his asylum, and keeps him in custody

Yariel Valdés González is a Cuban journalist, who sought asylum in the United States.[1][2][3][4] Gonzalez had worked for Vanguardia, the largest newspaper in Las Villas before he triggered the attention of Cuban security officials, by accepting freelance assignments from foriegn news organizations.[5]

Security officials started harrassing Gonzalez in 2018.[6] It took months for Gonzalez to find a way to leave Cuba. He finally got permission to attend a conference in Colombia. He described feeling fear of deportation back to Cuba,when he booked a flight from Colombia to Mexico, and while he made his way to the border crossing at Calexico, California. He legally crossed into the USA on March 27, 2019.[7]

He was granted asylum on September 18, 2019, but he remained in custody when the Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement appealed that decision.[8]

According to the Southern Poverty Legal Center ICE transfers immigration detainees to facilities in isolated rural Louisiana to impede their access to legal help.


  1. Michael K. Lavers (2019-09-11). "Yariel ready to start new life in US". Washington Blade (Key West). https://www.washingtonblade.com/2019/09/11/yariel-ready-to-start-new-life-in-us/. Retrieved 2019-10-11. "Aug. 27 also marked five months since Yariel Valdés González, a Washington Blade contributor, asked for asylum in the U.S. based on the persecution he suffered in Cuba as a journalist. He remains in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Louisiana." 
  2. Michael K. Lavers (2019-10-09). "Ruling that granted asylum to Blade contributor from Cuba appealed". Los Angeles Blade. https://www.losangelesblade.com/2019/10/09/ruling-that-granted-asylum-to-blade-contributor-from-cuba-appealed/. Retrieved 2019-10-11. "ICE reserved the right to appeal Cole’s ruling within 30 days. Lara Nochomovitz, Valdés’ lawyer, on Tuesday told the Blade that ICE appealed the decision." 
  3. Hugo Solares (2019-10-08). "Sigue detenido periodista independiente cubano que ganó caso de asilo político" (in Spanish). Cubita Now. https://noticias.cubitanow.com/sigue-detenido-periodista-independiente-cubano-que-gano-caso-de-asilo-politico/. Retrieved 2019-10-11. 
  4. Fabiola Santiago (2019-10-08). "Periodista cubano ganó su petición de asilo político, pero ICE se rehúsa a liberarlo". El Nueva Herald. https://www.elnuevoherald.com/opinion-es/opin-col-blogs/fabiola-santiago-es/article235876872.html. Retrieved 2019-10-11. 
  5. Fabiola Santiago (2019-10-04). "Cuban journalist won his political asylum case. Why does ICE refuse to release him?". Miami Herald. https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/news-columns-blogs/fabiola-santiago/article235732292.html. Retrieved 2019-10-11. "Ever the journalist, Valdés has been chronicling his experiences from prison for the Washington Blade and other publications for which he freelanced from Cuba after the government kicked him out for political reasons from every journalism job he held. He worked in the major newspaper in Las Villas, Vanguardia, and on radio and television." 
  6. {{cite news | url = https://knightcenter.utexas.edu/blog/00-21245-cuban-journalist-detained-united-states-receives-asylum-has-yet-be-released | title = Cuban journalist detained in the United States receives asylum, but has yet to be released | work = [[Knight Center for Journalism in Americas | author = Paola Nalvarte | date = | archiveurl = | archivedate = | accessdate = 2019-10-11 | url-status = live | quote = Valdés, a 29-year-old independent journalist, was forced to leave Cuba in 2018 due to threats and pressure from the authorities for practicing his profession, Diario de Cuba reported. According to the Washington Blade, Valdés entered the U.S. on March 27 through the border entrance at Calexico West, located between the Imperial Valley of California and Mexicali, Mexico, and requested asylum. From there he was transferred to the Tallahatchee County Correctional Facility, in Tutwiler, Mississippi. He was then transferred to the ICE Bossier Parish detention center in Plain Dealing, Louisiana, according to the site. }}
  7. Michael K. Levers (2019-04-12). "Blade contributor asks for asylum in US". Washington Blade. https://www.washingtonblade.com/2019/04/12/blade-contributor-asks-for-asylum-in-us/. Retrieved 2019-10-11. "Yariel Valdés González legally entered the U.S. on March 27 through the Calexico West Port of Entry between Calexico, Calif., and Mexicali, Mexico." 
  8. Jacob Ogles (2019-09-20). "Gay Cuban Journalist Granted Asylum in U.S.". The Advocate. https://www.advocate.com/news/2019/9/20/openly-gay-cuban-journalist-granted-asylum-us. Retrieved 2019-10-11. "Judge Timothy Cole granted Valdés González asylum on Wednesday from the Bossier Parish Medium Security Facility in Plain Dealing, La. Valdés González appears to remain in ICE custody."