14ymedio, Havana, 26 December 2016 – Cuban Faces of 2016: Ariel Urquiola, a biologist and doctor of science, has participated in several research projects on Cuban biodiversity, especially related to marine and terrestrial species. He directed an international research project carried out between the University of Havana, the Museum of Natural History of Berlin and Humboldt University of Berlin on the origin and settlement of the Sierra de los Órganos in Pinar del Río.
This year Ruiz Urquiola was expelled from the Marine Research Center under the official charge of unjustified absences, but, according to the biologist, it is a plot against him because the the authorities of the scientific center do not consider him “trustworthy,” because of his political leanings.
In October of this year the biologist was arrested three times for demanding the medicines needed by his sister, a cancer patient who urgently needs te monoclonal antibody Trastuzumab, which must be supplied every 21 days. After a hunger strike and a vigil outside the Havana Oncology Hospital, Ruiz Urquiola managed to restart the administration of the drug to his sister.