U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro calls for release of San Antonio man who inspired movie Hotel Rwanda

Paul Rusesabagina relocated with his family to San Antonio after fleeing the Rwandan Genocide.

click to enlarge U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro helped author a resolution passed Thursday calling for the hero's release. - Michael Karlis
Michael Karlis
U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro helped author a resolution passed Thursday calling for the hero's release.
U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, is urging the Rwandan government to release the hotel manager who inspired the film Hotel Rwanda after the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution on Thursday calling for the man's release.

Known for his efforts to shelter Hutu and Tutsi refugees while managing the Hotel des Mille Collines during the Rwandan Genocide, Paul Rusesabagina left the East African nation in 1996 after being granted asylum in Belgium. Rusesabagina later relocated with his family to San Antonio.

However, the former hotel manager disappeared during an overseas trip to Dubai in 2020, turning up days later as a prisoner in Rwanda.

Castro and U.S. Rep. Young Kim, D-California, are now demanding that he be returned to the Alamo City.

"Mr. Rusesabagina is a cancer survivor in poor health, and he needs better medical care than Rwandan authorities are providing," Castro said in a statement. "If President Kagame and the Rwandan government want to rebuild their credibility on the international stage, they must start by sending Mr. Rusesabagina back home to his family in San Antonio."

Authored by Castro and Kim, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H. Res. 892 on Thursday, calling for the hero's release.

"This overwhelming show of support from the U.S. House of Representatives will mean the world to our father, and again demonstrate that the U.S. will not stand quietly in the face of the wrongful detention of those who call America home," Rusesabagina's daughter, Anaise Kanimba, said in the press release from Castro's office.

Rwandan officials accuse Rusesabagina, a well-known critic of the African nation's authoritarian regime, of supporting an armed militia that opposes President Paul Kagame's regime. Rusesabagina disputes those claims.

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