Lady in White with Serious Health Issues Receives Conditional Release From Prison

Xiomara de las Mercedes Cruz Miranda. (Berta Soler)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 11 August 2019 — The Lady in White Xiomara de las Mercedes Cruz Miranda received a conditional release from prison — known as an extrapenal license — this Saturday, several family members confirmed to 14ymedio.

Cruz Miranda was admitted to the intensive care ward of La Covadonga hospital in Havana, reported in serious condition. Although there is no final diagnosis, doctors told family members that it could be lung cancer. The activist was sentenced by the Guanabacoa Municipal Court in 2018 to serve one year and four months in jail for the crime of “threat.”

The trial in which the activist was convicted was “rigged,” said Berta Soler, leader of the Ladies in White. Clara de las Mercedes Iznaga, daughter of the Lady in White, accused State Security of “orchestrating” a case to condemn her mother.

The activist was held in El Guatao prison, in Artemisa and then transferred to a prison in Ciego de Ávila. Due to the worsening of her state of health, she was transferred to Havana, her home.

Cruz Miranda, a former political prisoner, had also belonged to the Patriotic Union of Cuba (Unpacu). In 2016, she was arrested after she shouted anti-government slogans in the area of the Capitol building in Havana.

Soler told Diario de Cuba that Cruz Miranda is still in the intensive care ward and listed in serious condition. “It is still in the hands of the La Covadonga doctors service and under the responsibility of the DSE [Department of State Security] and the Cuban regime what could happen to her.”

“Cruz Miranda was taken to prison in good health last year and it has been three months since her condition has deteriorated gradually and every day she has gotten worse, being imprisoned, in the hands of the DSE and paramilitary medical personnel,” she said.

Soler clarified that the extrapenal license “is a conditional release” so the activist continues at the mercy of State Security forces.

“To go anywhere and do anything, including temporarily leaving the country, she will have to ask permission from the Cuban State… We are making arrangements so that she can receive the best specialized care,” she added.


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