“State Security Doctors Constantly Mistreated Us”

Anairis Miranda Leyva and her sister, Adairis, have just been released on parole after three weeks on a hunger strike. Adairis holds a report about Oswaldo Paya, founder of the Christian Liberation Movement (MLC) and Harold Cepero an activist in the movement, both of whom were killed in a suspicious car accident. (MLC)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 4 April 2017 — Maydolys Leyva can breath easy for the first time since last March 7. Her three children have abandoned their hunger strike after being released on parole. This Monday, their mother prepared a meal of mild creamed vegetables, root vegetables and meat for her daughter Anairis and son Fidel Batista, as they began to resume eating. Her other daughter, Adairis Miranda, is still in intermediate care.

From her bed at Vladimir Ilich Lenin Teaching Hospital in Holguín, where she is recovering, Anairis Miranda spoke via telephone with 14ymedio.

14ymedio. What led you to undertake the hunger strike?

Anairis. We spent 27 days without food and continued to demand the immediate release of our family because we never accepted the unjust sentence of a year of deprivation of liberty imposed on us.

We are also demanding the release of the political prisoners of the Cuban Reflection Movement to which we belong with pride and whose national leader is Librado Linares. We also demand the immediate release of the national leader of the Christian Liberation Movement, Eduardo Cardet. In response to these demands we obtained parole for health reasons.

14ymedio. Are you still under surveillance?

Anairis. Right now, here in the hospital, there is no presence of State Security. As of Sunday, when they delivered the parole documents to us, they took their repressors and left.

14ymedio. What were the most difficult moments during the strike?

Anairis. We suffered a lot of repression by State Security. They made threats against our mother’s life. The official in charge of confrontation in the province of Holguin, Fredy Agüero, threatened to take custody of my sister’s two children, who were being looked after by our mom. He said they would arrest her and kill her in prison.

“The official in charge of confrontation in the province of Holguin, Fredy Agüero, threatened to take custody of my sister’s two children, who were being looked after by our mom”

14ymedio. How is your sister right now?

Anairis. Adairis is now in intermediate therapy in the surgical clinic, she has a monitor and an IV. We all have very low blood pressure. We weigh 66 pounds and are continuing to lose weight. My brother has very unstable blood pressure, it goes up and down. My brother and I are suffering from ischemic heart disease as a sequel to the strike. I have some vaginal bleeding and diarrhea. I am still very ill, just like my siblings.

14ymedio. How has the treatment from the doctors been from a humane point of view?

Anairis. Some doctors have treated us well, those who are not from the Ministry of the Interior. The doctors of the State Security, who constantly mistreated us, have already left. They tried to misrepresent everything about our health and to overshadow everything. Now, since they left, we have noticed the change in the treatment of the hospital doctors and the people who have come to see us. Before they didn’t let anyone approach us.

14ymedio. How many days do the doctors expect you to remain  hospitalized?

Anairis. They tell us that we have to stay in the hospital about ten more days because we could suffer a heart attack or different complications can occur, although in the case of my sister it could be longer depending on the improvement in her immune system.

14ymedio. How did you receive evidence of solidarity?

Anairis. I would like to give my heartfelt thanks to the international public for their solidarity and to all the brother and sister activists of both the diaspora and the country. Of course, also the journalists who reported what happened.