A father cries over his son Ramón’s death in prison, the second who dies in prison.)
The body of inmate Ramón Hernández Medina, 45, who was serving an 8-year sentence was found at the Augusto César Sandino penitentiary, in the Sandino municipality, Pinar del Río Cuba.
According to his father, Bárbaro Hernández López, a neighbor of Pueblo Nuevo in El Marabú, San Juan y Martínez, Pinar del Río, some months back his son had been taken for a month to the inmates’ ward at the “Abel Santamaría” Provincial Hospital due to a heart attack. When the month was over, as they are about to return him to the Sandino jail, Ramón tells the Chief of the ward that he was not in a good condition yet to leave the hospital. They paid no attention to him and took him to prison, where he continued to show health problems, and according to visiting relatives he said he was not receiving good assistance for his illness.
On May 5, 2017, a day prior to his death, he told the guard who was keeping watch that he was feeling ill, and the guard replied: “that’s in your mind, you have nothing.” The following day, without having received attention, Ramón died of a massive heart attack.
As defenders of the most elementary rights of man and as members of civil society, we join this San Juan family in their pain for the loss of two sons in Cuban jails where their rights were violated, which are enshrined in Article 5 of the Universal Charter of Human Rights: “no one will be subjected to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.”
Ramón’s parents ask: Why had their son to be treated as a dog? Why was he not listened to? The truth is but one: in Cuban jail, human rights are not respected.
By Leodan Suárez Quiñones, Defensor del Pueblo (People’s Defender), Representative of the LGBT Community in Western Cuba and CID Delegate in San Juan y Martínez, Pinar del Río.