CASE UPDATE: GLA Urges IACHR Grant Precautionary Measures for political prisoner, UNPACU member Manuel de Jesús Rodríguez García
Earlier this week, the Global Liberty Alliance updated the OAS’s Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) on the status of political prisoner and UNPACU member Manuel de Jesús Rodríguez García.
Mr. Rodríguez, who has been imprisoned since 2016, is currently in a precarious medical situation as Cuban prisons struggle to provide adequate healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic.
GLA applied for Precautionary Measures on behalf of Mr. Rodríguez in June 2021. On several occasions, Rodríguez has denounced violations committed by prison officials during his sentence, and every instance has landed him in a punishment cell where he is has been tortured, physically beaten and threats made upon his family.
More recently, Rodríguez spoke out about lack of adequate health care in Cuba’s prison facilities in light of the global pandemic. As someone that suffers from asthma and is highly susceptible to complications due to COVID-19, Mr. Rodríguez requested medical assistance numerous times, all of which were denied.
In April, Mr. Rodríguez was taken to a hospital after suffering from severe breathing problems. Months later, his health has not improved.
Rodríguez was able to call his mother on September 17, confirming he continues to suffer from COVID-19 related complications such as loss of smell, and now reports he has also contracted Dengue, a viral disease causing high fever, muscle and joint pain, and in severe cases, serious bleeding and shock.
Rodríguez noted he had been taken to the infirmary for several days, though lack of medications and inadequate health care made his precarious health situation more severe. Medications usually provided to lower fevers and reduce headaches and pain was not provided, instead he was given homeopathic remedies for his discomfort.
In light of ongoing lack of medication and inadequate health assistance in prison institutions in Cuba, coupled with Mr. Rodríguez’s poor state of health resulting from COVID-19 complications and untreated Dengue, the Global Liberty Alliance is gravely concerned for his health and safety.
For more information on the application for Precautionary Measures submitted on behalf of Manuel de Jesús Rodríguez García, see our news alert here.