Juan Juan Almeida, 31 January 2018 — The young Cuban, Raidel García Otero, who was reported on Friday to be comatose, as a result of alleged medical negligence and irresponsibility on the part of the Cuban prison authorities, died on January 23rd at 3:10 pm, in the company of his family and doctors in the Salvador Allende hospital in Havana.
A hospital source told Martí Noticias that he “Died as a result of a multiple organ failure. His organs were collapsing up until the point when he was pronounced clinically dead. I want to scream, I want to cry.”
His sister, Mariela García Otero, submitted a formal complaint to Doctor Sara Infante, Head of Medical Services in the Ministry of the Interior, on the basis of medical negligence in the prison
García Otero, a 29 year old economic technician in a military company, had been under arrest, as the subject of a restraint order, in the Valle Grande jail since October 27th.
Last January 15th, his mother Delia Otero, and his father, who worked in the administration section of the official Juventud Rebelde newspaper, were worried as they hadn’t received their usual Monday call. Therefore, they phoned the prison and were told that the kid had a cold.
A family friend told Marti Noticias “On Tuesday, January 16th, one of Raidel’s companions rang the family and told them the young man was in a bad way and hadn’t received proper medical attention. His parents went to the prison but got no information, and they wouldn’t let them see him either.”
The friend said that it wasn’t until the Friday of that week that the prison phoned to say that the young man had been admitted to the Salvador Allende Hospital, in Old Quinta Covadonga, in Cerro.
The evidence said that at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, January 19th, García Otero was moved, in critical condition, from Valle Grande prison to Covadonga.
The last medical report on 23rd January, at 2:00 a.m., to Martí Noticias, said that the young man had necrosis of the legs, brain damage, and was entering organ failure.
The deceased prisoner’s twin brother, Reinaldo García Otero, explained that he “suffered multiple failures and was receiving blood transfusions.”
He added that “His legs were black, none of his organs were responding, he was in a bad way, and was in a coma from when he entered the hospital.”
A military spokesman, identified as Lt. Henry Mendoza, spoke to Radio Martí about the medical attention he had received: “This comrade, this ill person, received substantial medical attention, from when he fell ill until he passed away, and the appropriate drugs were administered.”
On being asked what medicines were administered, he replied “I can’t say what the drugs were, I am not a doctor, I am just duty officer Lt. Henry Mendoza.”
Translated by GH