STATE OF HEALTH OF CUBAN PRISONER OF
CONSCIENCE, DR. JOSE LUIS GARCIA PANEQUE,
IS BECOMING MORE CRITICAL
Cuban phsycian and prisoner of conscience, Dr. Jose Luis Garcia Paneque, continues in the hospital of the Prison of ' Las Mangas ' in Bayamo, along with common prisoners, suffering from chronic bloody diarrhea and persistent ulcerative colitis as a consequence of the Syndrome of Intestinal Malabsorption that he has developed since his imprisonment in 2003.
His wife, Yamilet Llanes Labrada, who travels from Las Tunas every 45 days to said prison said that Dr. Garcia Paneque’s health has worsened since he was transferred on November 8, 2005, from the Hospital of Combinado del Este in Havana, where he also suffered rectal bleeding. ' His deteriorated body doesn’t reach the weight of 50 kilograms (110 lbs.) ', explained the imprisoned doctor’s wife, ' he feels very tired, his blood pressure remains at 90 over 50, the spoiled prison food he has consumed has caused and worsened the diarrhea.' My husband has not seen the sun for months and he is forced to endure extreme psychological pressure.
On Monday, May 15, 2006, Yamilet Llanes had to request a meeting with the prison director. A common prisoner around 20 to 26 years old with whom Dr. Garcia Paneque has had several serious arguments, threatened to kill the physician after having thrown his clothes in a latrine full of excrement. Prison authorities informed Yamilet that they were not aware these events had occurred.
Dr. Garcia Paneque’s four children are psychologically affected by their father’s imprisonment and by the constant harassment they must sustain. Three times a week, groups of elderly Cubans cry out governmental slogans just two houses away from Garcia Paneque's home. Sheila, the eldest child,15 years old, is barred from studying computer technology in spite of her high school grades, and she is being pressured to sign up with the Union of Communist Youth, an organization she refuses to join. When Jose Alejandro, 9 years old, visits the prison he frequently compares the girth of his arm to the girth of his sick father’s arm.
On December 9, 2005, Yamilet Llanes Labrada requested before the Cuban Ministry of the Interior that a medical parole be granted to her husband. As she still awaits a response after being remitted to the Cuban Ministry of Justice and later to the District Attorney’s Office, Dr. García Paneque’s health turns more critical each passing day. “Jose Luis’s case is very difficult and complicated; he is so sick…” declared the wife of this Cuban prisoner of conscience.