Desde Dentro de Cuba.

Distribuido por Cuba Free Press, Inc. - http://www.cubafreepress.org

Dec. 20, 1999

POLICE ARREST FATHER WHO PROTESTED HOSPITAL INEFFICIENCY WITH BABY DAUGHTER. By Luis Orlando González Bridón, of the CTDC, for Cuba Free Press.

Havana.- When their three-months-old baby daughter Gretel Rodríguez Valdés became seriously ill with bloody diarrhea the evening of Dec. 17, her parents, Damián and Mrs. Rodríguez and another member of the family rushed her to the children's hospital known as Abaliar in the Rocafort community.

When they reached the hospital, attendants told them they would have to wait for a physician. The family sat waiting for what seemed like an eternity. Seeing the baby becoming dehydrated, the frantic parents sought out more hospital staff people to try to get some treatment.

When the attendants took no action, the father began to complain loudly and some hospital staff people called the guards. Shortly afterwards, two policemen also arrived and roughed up the father, causing contusions. Then, twisting his arm violently, they forced handcuffs on him. They then threw him into their patrol car and took him and his wife to the national police station on San Miguel del Padrón St. The baby was left at the hospital under the care of the third member of the family, who was not arrested.

The tumult at the hospital apparently resulted in some action and a doctor arrived and after a few minutes of examining the baby urgently ordered immediate treatment in a therapy room. As of time of writing, three days later, the baby was still in the hospital.

Cuba Free Press was unable to determine the whereabouts of Damián Rodríguez and his wife. Meanwhile, active dissident María de los Angeles Suárez Esquivel visited the hospital and upon learning details of the case said measures should be taken against the staff, the guards and the director of the hospital. She said the police also had acted in an inhumane and unconscionable way.

José Orlando González Bridón, of the CTDC, for Cuba Free Press.


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