Cuban Political Prisoner Lisdani Rodríguez Granted One-Year Release Due to Complications in Her Pregnancy

The young woman’s family had already denounced the pressure from the political police to have an abortion.

Lisdani Rodríguez was sentenced to eight years in prison for demonstrating on 11 July 2021 / Mónica Baró

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 29 May 2024 — Lisdani Rodríguez, one of the two sisters from Placetas, Villa Clara, arrested after demonstrating on 11 July 2021, was released this Tuesday after becoming pregnant. The young woman is six months pregnant and was diagnosed with placenta previa – a condition that can cause intense bleeding – for which the authorities granted her a year of extra-penal leave.

The information was published on social networks by journalist Mónica Baró, resident in the United States, who said that Rodríguez must receive special care “away from the inhumane conditions of prison.”

“Let’s hope that Lisdani is not separated from her son once he is born, and that her triplet* sister, Lisdiany, is released so that she can also be with her daughter. Neither of them has committed any crime,” Baró added in her publication.

News about the pregnancy of Rodríguez, sentenced to eight years for demonstrating in Placetas, began to circulate at the beginning of the year, when her mother, Bárbara Isaac, denounced the pressure from the political police agents of the Guamajal women’s prison, in Santa Clara, so that she would have an abortion.

“They want my daughter to have an abortion but she doesn’t want to because she has always hoped to have a baby. She didn’t imagine the moment it came to pass but they (her daughter and her partner, also a political prisoner) want to have it,” her mother said last January in an interview with Infobae.

The prison situation, where inmates do not receive good food or medical care, puts her daughter’s pregnancy at risk

According to Isaac, the situation in the prison, where the inmates do not receive good food or medical care, puts her daughter’s pregnancy at risk.

Weeks ago, the mother told CubaNet that the prison authorities knew about Rodríguez’s condition since she was five and a half months pregnant, “but they did not inform her” until two weeks later due to “a heart disease that developed in one of the analyses.”

“They take her to the consultations but they do not fully inform her of the results. She asked and it was then that the doctor told her that she had to rest, but that is impossible. She has to be straining all the time because they don’t have water and they have to carry it,” said Isaac, who also reported that her daughter had low hemoglobin due to the poor diet in the prison.

Both young women have suffered threats and repression in prison where, since at least the summer of 2023, the authorities have denied them transfer to a less severe regime. In an interview with 14ymedio last August, her mother reported that State Security denied them the transfer for six months in retaliation for writing a letter to commemorate the second anniversary of her confinement and for refusing to stand at attention for the prison directors.

At the beginning of the year, when another review of their case was carried out, the sisters complained that the authorities threatened to separate them in prison to prevent them from reporting everything that happens to them inside the prison. As of now, it is not known if they were transferred to a minimum security regime.

*Translator’s note: The sisters are two of triplet sisters; the third sister is not in prison.


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