EFE (via 14ymedio), Geneva, December 2, 2019 — In a statement to EFE on Monday, Dr. Ariel Ruíz Urquiola, biologist, environmental activist and gay rights advocate, spoke before several German NGOs and denounced the Cuban Government for injecting him with the AIDS virus. He hopes they can bring his case before European forums and the United Nations.
In a telephone conversation from Neuchatel, Switzerland, Ruiz Urquiola said he has medical proof that he was injected with a strain of the virus in the provincial Abel Santamaría Hospital of Pinar del Río, while he was in the final phase of his hunger and thirst strike.
“The Swiss and German infectious-disease doctors have the proof in their hands,” Ruiz Urquiola indicated. This past November 27, he officially presented his case before the International Society for Human Rights and the Gay and Lesbian Union of Germany, both located in Frankfurt.
Ruiz Urquiola pointed out that both NGOs were working on trying to bring the case before the European Human Rights Court and the Office of Human Rights of the United Nations. This last institution already stated that the Government of Cuba had arbitrarily detained him.
The biologist told EFE that he is “absolutely certain” that he was injected with the virus in the Pinar del Río hospital, where they gave him physiological serums as well as supposedly concentrated glucose injections to treat the weakness he suffered during his hunger and thirst strike.
A little later, and two or three days after he was given permission to leave prison by the Pinar del Río Provincial Justice Court, he suffered symptoms of flu that he first suspected were an indication of tuberculosis. However, he discovered through an analysis that he was experiencing a reaction typical of the first phase of HIV infection.
Ruiz Urquiola explained that he had been tested for HIV the last time he was in prison and after leaving the provincial hospital, and he was negative both times. But he tested positive last June in Switzerland when he decided to have another test once he was reunited with his partner, a doctor.
“It’s another crime committed by the Cuban Government, like the one they committed against my sister,” he said. In the past he had staged a hunger strike to demand that the National Cancer and Radiobiology Institute treat his sister‘s cancer with monoclonal antibodies.
Since 2012, Ruiz Urquiola has been studying the origin and biological evolution of the Sierra de Los Órganos of Cuba, in a joint project of the University of Havana with Humboldt University of Berlin.
The University of Havana expelled him and boycotted his study, according to what he told EFE, but the University in Berlin wanted his work to continue, together with another professor, Dr. Thomas von Rintelen.
The biologist, who was detained on May 11 for demonstrating in support of gay rights in Havana, doesn’t know if his is an isolated case, but he says there is still a “social stigma” toward gays and people with the HIV virus or who have full-blown AIDS.
“Trolls on social networks accuse me of having caught AIDS in ‘one of my escapades’ or in prison, given that homosexual relations are stigmatized in Cuban society,” he said.
“What they don’t say is that I had no symptoms during the 11 months I was in Cuba, and that the virus was detected and characterized scientifically in Europe,” he emphasized.
Ruiz Urquiola reminded everyone that in another Communist regime, that of Nicolae Ceausescu in Rumanía, there was testimony that they practiced inoculations of HIV, especially on gays, “to crush the opposition and generate terror in the population.”
Translated by Regina Anavy
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