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'It was the saddest New Year's of our lives,' says the mother of a missing Cuban girl

Madeleysis Rosales Rodríguez's family has not heard from her in seven months, and Yosvany Villar Ávila's has not heard from him in more than a year.

Madeleysis Rosales Rodríguez and Yosvany Villar Ávila. Photos courtesy of the families.
Madeleysis Rosales Rodríguez and Yosvany Villar Ávila. Photos courtesy of the families.

16-year-old Cuban teenager Madeleysis Rosales Rodríguez remains missing more than seven months after her family reported her disappearance, while 15-year-old Yosvany Villar Ávila has not been heard from in more than a year.

Madeleysis was last seen in a park near her home on the municipality of Centro Habana, on May 30 last year, her mother, Isis Rodríguez Ameneiro told DIARIO DE CUBA.

"It was the saddest New Year's of our lives, with her gone. I'm devastated, because we have no clues, and now I have to take care of my mother, who has suffered several cerebral ischemias, and her health is very delicate. The police never came to my house again, nor have they communicated with me for several months," Rodríguez Ameneiro reported.

In previous statements this mother explained that the police officers who went to see her were pressured by their superiors to solve this case, but there has been no progress.

"The police have done a very poor job. Practically the only support I have received has been from some friends and independent journalists," said the mother.

Yosvany Villar Ávila, a resident of Lawton, disappeared in December of 2020 when he was 14 years old. His whereabouts are still unknown. His family has been threatened by the police to dissuade them from talking to the press.

"My wife filed a complaint with the Police months ago because they told her not to upload more photos to social media. They insisted that they were looking for him, but we still have no idea where Yosvany could be," Luis Enrique Hidalgo Domínguez, the minor's stepfather, told DIARIO DE CUBA in September.

"Every time we go to the police it's the same old thing: we get nowhere. They even prohibited us from posting photos of the boy on the street," he added.

On January 6 Airovis Ávila, the mother of Yosvany and seven other children, wrote on Twitter: "My child has been missing for a year and I want my president to help me look for him; please help me, Díaz-Canel."

Both Havana families turned to state media for them to report on the minors' disappearances, but were turned down. The Canal Havana (channel) in the capital told them that they only publish "cases of elderly people or those with mental problems who are missing."

These families have also received threats and pressure from the police not to publicize these disappearances on social media, with the authorities claiming that these actions are "counterrevolutionary."

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