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martes, 8 de diciembre de 2009

INFORMATION ON FIVE PHYSICIANS AND A DENTIST WHO WERE ARBITRARILY ARRESTED, SUMMARILY TRIED, SENTENCED, AND IMPRISONED DURING THE CUBAN GOVERNMENT CRACKDOWN OF MARCH 18 –APRIL 11, 2003

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INFORMATION ON FIVE PHYSICIANS AND A DENTIST WHO WERE ARBITRARILY ARRESTED, SUMMARILY TRIED, SENTENCED, AND IMPRISONED DURING THE CUBAN GOVERNMENT CRACKDOWN OF MARCH 18 –APRIL 11, 2003.



Collection and Documentation of Data by the Coalition of Cuban-American Women


Internationally, these six men are all considered prisoners of conscience and were prosecuted by the Cuban government for peacefully exercising their independent views; consequently, they must be unconditionally released. Inhumane prison conditions and cruel treatment by penal authorities in Cuba are directly responsible for the severe deterioration of the physical and mental health of these Cuban professionals.


DR. OSCAR ELÍAS BISCET GONZÁLEZ

A black Cuban physician,(Specialist in Internal Medicine); follower of Mahatma Ghandi and Martin Luther King. He is a leader in the peaceful civil rights movement in Cuba who struggles on behalf of the rule of law through methods of nonviolent civil disobedience. Arrested more than 26 times, Dr. Biscet is president of the unofficial Lawton Foundation for Human Rights in Havana, a pro-life, human rights organization. Due to his human rights activities, Dr. Biscet was expelled from the Cuban National Health System; prohibited from practicing as a physician in his own country; his wife was dismissed from her job as a nurse; and his family was evicted from their home. He served a 3-year sentence (1999-2002) in a maximum security prison 450 miles away from his home, accused of ‘insult to the symbols of the homeland’, ‘public disorder’, and ‘incitement to commit an offense’ for displaying two Cuban flags in an inverted vertical position at a press conference where a public march was announced to denounce human rights violations during the 1999 Latin American Summit in Havana. Dr. Biscet was released on October 31, 2002, was rearrested 36 days later, and was tried April 7, 2003, during a Cuban governmental crackdown that took place in March-April 2003. He was sentenced under article 91 of the Penal Code to 25 years in prison. Since 1999, he has been confined to maximum-security prisons facilities under the most severe prison protocol and to punishment cells for refusing, as a prisoner of conscience, to obey any prison rule applied to common prisoners. On one occasion, he lost 40 pounds when he was placed in an underground dungeon with a dangerous criminal. He is presently suffering from severe essential hypertension, chronic gastritis, duodenal ulcer, osteoarthritis of the cervical spine, and he has lost most of his teeth due to a severe oral infection. He’s been awarded numerous distinguished international awards for his heroic defense of human rights in Cuba.


Family: (Wife) Elsa Morejón Hernandez,(a nurse). A son and a daughter in exile.

Address: Acosta 464 entre 8va y 9na, Lawton, Municipio 10 de Octubre, La Habana, Cuba

Telephone: + 53-7-991774

Birthdate: July 20, 1961

Sentence: 25 years

Prison: Combinado del Este (Havana)

Accusation: Article 91 of the Penal Code

DR. MARCELO CANO RODRÍGUEZ



A medical doctor (general practictioner), Dr. Cano Rodríguez served as the National Coordinator of the unofficial Cuban Independent Medical Association, an association of medical professionals around the island. He’s also a member of the unofficial Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation (CCDHRN). Marcelo Cano was summarily tried on April 6, 2003,and convicted under article 91 of the Penal Code and articles 4.1, 4.2a-b, 6.1, 6.2a-b, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 8.1, 8.2, 9.1, 9.2, 10, and 11 of Law 88 to 18 years in prison. The activities, which the prosecution cited against this human rights defender, included visiting prisoners and their families and maintaining ties to the international organization Doctors Without Borders. He is confined 423 kilometers away from his home. Dr. Marcelo Cano has been severely harassed by penal authorities since his incarceration. Once a healthy athlete, this physician has often been deprived from the light of the sun since 2004, and the humidity of the prison cell has worsened the osteoporosis he suffers. According to his aunt he’s been hospitalized on 5 occasions in the Hospital of Cienfuegos since 2003 (one time during 3 months) with severe bone pain. Due to the lack of hygiene, he suffers from boils on his face and head, parasites, and fungus on his feet. His young daughter is traumatized after several years of prison visits.

Family: (aunt) Catalina Cano Vergara.

Address: Calle 72 #907. Altos, entre 9na y 11na, Playa, Ciudad de La Habana, Cuba

Telephone: + 53 7 2032682

Birthdate: January 20, 1965

Sentence: 18 years

Prison: Prison of Ariza in Cienfuegos (423 km. east of Havana)

Accusation: Violation of Law No. 88 and Article 91

DR. JOSÉ LUIS GARCÍA PANEQUE


Dr. Paneque, trained as a plastic surgeon (cosmetic & burn patients), is a member of the unofficial Cuban Independent Medical Association and director of the independent news agency Libertad as well as of the unofficial Journalists' Society, "Manuel Marquez Sterling." He was also reportedly involved in the Proyecto Varela initiative as well as in directing a private library. Dr. Garcia Paneque was detained on March 18, 2003. Following a search of his house, materials, correspondence and medical equipment were reportedly confiscated. He was charged and summarily tried under Law 88 and Article 91 of the Cuban Penal Code and sentenced to 24 years in prison. Since then, his weight has dropped from 86 to 48 kg., due the bouts of diarrhea and rectal bleeding that characterize development of intestinal mal absorption syndrome, and reason why he’s been confined in several prison infirmaries and hospitals. At present he is also suffering from malnutrition and anemia and on June 2007 he was diagnosed with having a cyst in his bladder and pneumonia in his right lung. According to his wife, Cuban authorities keep her husband in prison even while he suffers an illness that is incompatible with a prison routine and where his life is in danger. He has endured humiliations and beatings from imprisoned criminals. Yamile Llanes, wife of Dr. García Paneque and their four children, were forced to seek exile in the United States on March 8, 2007, due to the violent ‘acts of repudiation’ that were being carried out against their home in Las Tunas by mobs instigated by Cuban State Security. Their home has since been confiscated by the state, as is the case with all those Cuban nationals who decide and are allowed to leave the country.


Family: (mother ) Moralinda Paneque and (father) José García

Address: Avenida Sergio Reinó # 101, Reparto La Carretera, Municipio Amancio, Las Tunas, Cuba

Telephone: + 53- 31- 692453

Birthdate: July 24, 1965

Sentence: 24 years

Prison: Presently at “Las Mangas” Prison, Bayamo (transferred Nov.8, 2005 from the Hospital of Combinado del Este Prison in Havana) Transferred to the infirmary of Las Mangas Prison on June 2007.

Accusation: Violation of Law No.88 and Article 91


DR. LUIS MILÁN FERNÁNDEZ

A medical doctor, he is a member of the unofficial Independent Cuban Medical Association. On June 2001 he and his wife, a dentist, signed a document called 'Manifiesto 2001,' calling, among other measures, for recognition of fundamental freedoms in Cuba. Together with other health professionals, they carried out a one-day hunger strike to call attention to the medical situation of detainees and other issues. On April 4, 2003, he was summarily tried for violating Law 88, and sentenced to 13 years in prison. Though he has never suffered from any emotional or mental problems, Dr. Milan has been confined since February 18, 2005, with mental patients of all kinds in the psychiatric ward of the Prison of Boniato, in the province of Santiago de Cuba. He was transferred in mid August to a Labor Camp named “Tarea Confianza” where he presently remains, Two or three mental patients sleep in Dr. Milan’s prison cell, and some, due to their aggressiveness, have annoyed and provoked him preventing him from sleeping or reading. During a prison visit in June 2007, Dr. Milan told his wife that one of the mental patients had cut one of his own ears off. Penal authorities follow a pattern, changing his cellmates periodically, occasionally leaving him alone in his cell. He remains confined in a labor camp he was transferred to in 2008.


Family: (wife) Dr. Lisandra Laffita Hernández (dentist) a son (6 years old) and a daughter (9 years old)

Address: Edificio B27, Apt. 10, Reparto Antonio Maceo, Santiago de Cuba, Cuba

Birthdate: February 21, 1970

Sentence: 13 years

Prison: Prisoners’ Labor Camp called “Tarea Confianza” (Santiago de Cuba)

Accusation: Violation of Law No. 88

DR. RICARDO ENRIQUE SILVA GUAL




A medical doctor (general practitioner) and member of the Movimiento Cristiano Liberación, (Christian Liberation Movement.) On April 7, 2003, Dr. Silva was sentenced to serve ten years in prison under articles 4.1 and 6.1 of Law 88. Dr. Silva carried out a hunger strike from January 13-February 5, 2005, in the maximum-security prison of Boniato to protest the cruel treatment he was being subjected to by prison authorities and by dangerous convicts who were being encouraged by prison guards to harass him. There, he received a savage beating by Sargent Arrastre. He was eventually transferred to the Prison of Aguadores in Santiago de Cuba where he feels he has achieved his demands which are: not wear the common prisoner’s uniform, not salute or acknowledge the military personnel or accept the penal system’s reeducation program which includes compulsory participation in political marches. According to Dr. Silva, he will continue with his demands until he is a free man. Dr. Silva is suffering from glaucoma. He has a young child born at the time of his arrest, whom he hardly knows. His father has been hospitalized twice, affected by his son’s incarceration.


Family: (mother) Elina Rosa Gual and father. Has a son born in 2003.

Address: Calle Martí, Alta #458, entre Eduardo Chibás y Oscar Lucero, Palma Soriano, Santiago de Cuba, Cuba.

Telephone: + 53-22-502458

Birthdate: April 19,1973

Sentence: 10 years

Prison: Aguadores Maximum Security Prison, Santiago de Cuba.

Accusation: Violation of Law No. 88



DR. ALFREDO M. PULIDO LOPEZ

Dr. Pulido practiced as a dentist for 22 years until he was expelled from his profession when he became involved with the independent dissident movement, Movimiento Cristiano Liberación. In 2001, he began working as an independent journalist for the unofficial news agency El Mayor in Camagüey. He is a Master Freemason who belongs to a Grand Lodge. On March 18, 2003 he was arrested and was summarily tried April 4 and sentenced to 14 years of imprisonment under Articles 91 of the Cuban Penal Code and Law 88. He is presently confined in Kilo 7 Prison in Camagüey in a barrack with 100 delinquents, many of them condemned for murder. Dr.Pulido is psychologically affected by his imprisonment and told his wife he “ feels like he’s in hell”. His state of health is critical since, for months, he has been suffering multiple severe ailments (chronic bronchitis, tonsillitis, gastritis, cardiac arythmia, hypoglycemia, bleeding hemorrhoids, labile blood pressure, cervical osteoporosis, hepatic disorders, has lost many teeth, acute visual disturbance) and is unable to read, write, and hardly sleep as a result of severe, chronic and recurrent migraines (occipital neuralgia). In May 2007, though it was found that he had contracted tuberculosis, he has not received the proper medical therapy. Dr. Pulido is psychologically affected by his imprisonment; yet, he is in good spirits and continues very committed to his ideals. He has lost approximately 40 lbs. of body weight.


Family: (wife) Rebeca Antonia Rodríguez Sauto and a teenage son.

Address: Palomino #445 entre Linea y Primera, Reparto La Mascota, Camagüey, Cuba.

Tel: + 53 32 253591

Birthdate: November 14, 1960

Sentence: 14 years

Prison: Kilo 7, Camagüey

Accusation: Violation of Law No.88 and Article 91
LEGAL INSTRUMENTS UTILIZED BY CUBAN AUTHORITIES TO CONVICT THE SIX CUBAN HEALTH PROFESSIONALS (Law No. 88 and Article 91 of the Cuban Penal Code)

Law No 88 (gag law) - The Law for the Protection of National Independence and the Economy of Cuba - Mandates prison sentences of up to twenty years for those found guilty of "supporting, facilitating, or collaborating with the objectives of the Helms-Burton Law [U.S. legislation that imposes sanctions on foreign companies trading with Cuba], the embargo, and the economic war against our people, with the goal of ruining internal order, destabilizing the country, and liquidating the socialist state and Cuba's independence."

Acts against the Independence or the Territorial Integrity of the State. ARTICLE 91.

“The person who, in the interest of a foreign State, commits an act with the intent to cause damage to the independence of the Cuban State or the integrity of its territory, shall be punished with 10 to 20 years in prison or death.”
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The COALITION OF CUBAN-AMERICAN WOMEN compiled the information on the five Cuban physicians and a dentist, present prisoners of conscience in Cuba, through recorded testimonies obtained (constantly updated) from their families via telephone from Cuba and translated to English. Contact LAIDA CARRO/ Email: Joseito76@aol.com


Phone: + (305) 662-5947 Address: 4635 Granada Blvd. Coral Gables, Fl. 33146, USA
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS AND REFERENCES:

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL - AMR 25/017/2003

International report on Cuba (June 3, 2003) called CUBA: "Essential Measures"? Human Rights Crackdown in the Name of Security, found at URL - http://web.amnesty.org/library/index/engAMR250172003?open&of=eng-cub

LAW 88 - CUBA: BACK TO DARKNESS by Andrés Oppenheimer – Article Published Thursday March 18, 1999 / The Miami Herald / http://www.fiu.edu/~fcf/rtrndrknessoppenheimer.html


ARTICLE 91 (Cuban Penal Code) International Pen Writers in Prison Committee- Cuba Campaign http://www.pen.org/freedom/cubafox.htm
THE WORLD MEDICAL ASSOCIATION PRESS RELEASE – 23 March 2004. World Medical Association pleads for doctors and dentists imprisoned in Cuba. http://www.wma.net/e/press/2004_4.htm
“DIRECTORIO” ( Human Rights organization -Cuban Democratic Directorate)

Email: Info@directorio.org
 Phone: (305) 279-4416.

“PLANTADOS” ( Human Rights organization consisting of exCuban political prisoners)

151 S.W. 57 Avenue, Miami, Florida 33144. Email: Plantados@bellsouth.net . Phone: 305-269-1812
Internet website with documented information about Cuban Political Prisoners: www.Payolibre.com

Dr. Biscet’s websites: www.biscet.org
Reacciones:

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