CUBAN DENTIST, A PRISONER OF CONSCIENCE IN CUBA, GRAVELY ILL
CLAIMS HE PREFERS TO DIE RATHER THAN RENOUNCE HIS IDEALS
Camagüey, Cuba – April 22, 2006
On April 18, 2006, Rebeca Rodríguez Sauto went to Kilo 7 Prison in the province of Camagüey for a family visit, which is permitted every 45 days, with her husband, Dr. Alfredo Pulido López, and found that his health has significantly worsened.
Dr. Pulido, a prisoner of conscience, continues to lose weight, according to Rebeca. He is now at least 20 pounds under what he weighed when he was incarcerated in 2003. She had never seen her husband so depressed and psychologically distraught. According to the Cuban dentist's testimony, his condition is related to the fact that “the situation in prison is very serious because there is a lot of aggression among the prisoners,” and he pointed out that a few days beforehand, one prisoner had killed another. “We are constantly under inspection. They call those of us that are political prisoners ‘counter-revolutionaries’ and treat us like common criminals.”
Chronic bronchitis and a lack of air also affect Dr. Pulido's health, and recently, dark bruises of an unknown origin have appeared on his skin.
The prisoner of conscience told his wife that because of the serious illnesses from which he suffers, the authorities should have granted him a medical parole some time ago, and he added that they will not grant him release “because my convictions are firm, and I make them quite clear.” Dr. Pulido stated that he has no real reason to ask for a medical parole since he is an innocent man to begin with and what the Cuban authorities really have to give him is FREEDOM. He continued telling his wife, “I am more firm in my convictions every day. I am not going to renounce them. They (the prison authorities) know that my health is affected. They can do what they want.”
Rebeca Rodríguez Sauto stated that her husband told her the reason he believed that in 2003 the authorities in Cuba tried and incarcerated him along with 74 other Cuban citizens who peacefully expressed their independent ideas on the island: “the objective is to eliminate us physically.”
Dr. Pulido, 46, practiced dentistry for 22 years until 1998 when he was expelled from his clinic for linking himself to the dissident movement through the Christian Liberation Movement. In 2001, he began to work as an independent journalist in Camagüey, and he is a Master Mason as well. He was detained on March 18, 2003, and sentenced in a summary trial to 14 years in prison under Article 91 of the Cuban penal code and Law 88, also known as the Gag Law. He is confined to a barrack with 100 common prisoners, many of whom are condemned for murder, in Kilo 7 Prison in Camagüey.
We make an urgent request to dignitaries of democratic nations, to human rights organizations, to religious, civic, and political leaders, to the international press, and to men and women of good faith in the world to demand that the Cuban government grant unconditional freedom and immediate release to Dr. Alfredo Pulido López and all those in Cuba imprisoned for exercising fundamental freedoms.
Testimony of Rebeca Rodríguez Sauto given by telephone from Cuba. Taped, transcribed, and translated into English.
Coalition of Cuban-American Women / LAIDA CARRO / TANYA WILDER
E-mails: [email protected] / [email protected]
Rebeca Rodríguez Sauto: Address: Palomino #445 entre Línea y Primera, Reparto La Mascota, Camagüey, Cuba.
Tel: + 53-32-25391