Human Rights and
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April 14, 2009

21st Century Slavery

As a sort of contemporary slaves, we, the Cuban people in the middle of the 21st century, do not only depend on government permissions to leave or to return to our country, but we are also constantly confronted with the violation of our right to free movement, as the permissions are granted arbitrarily, they are delayed or refused, causing a deep grief within thousands of innocent families, who, paralyzed by their fear, are unable to claim for the respect of their basic rights.
By Hilda Molina
 

As a sort of contemporary slaves, we, the Cuban people in the middle of the 21st century, do not only depend on government permissions to leave or to return to our country, but we are also constantly confronted with the violation of our right to free movement, as the permissions are granted arbitrarily, they are delayed or refused, causing a deep grief within thousands of innocent families, who, paralyzed by their fear, are unable to claim for the respect of their basic rights. And to this crime another one is added: the obligation to pay the travel authorizations, at a high price of the convertible currency. Despite these enormous obstacles it is estimated that approximately three million countrymen have been involved in an uncontrollable and untenable exodus during five decades. Some people travel legally; others run away, escape; flee from their beloved island, creating a ripping within the families that affects the very bowels of this nation. However, the most tragic one of these occurrences that are already dramatic by themselves is that over decades the government viciously prevented any kind of relationship between the absentees and their family members that still remain in Cuba. Furthermore, the government has criminalized the honest possession of foreign currency, sent by the loved ones residing in other latitudes, with long years of prison. Really surprising, incomprehensible, outrageous is the fact that personalities and organizations that were honored and recognized for their defense of democracy and the respect for human rights, who are entitled to watch over these rights, use their privileged political and social positions to act as guarantors of this fifty years old form of contemporary slavery.

Hilda Molina was born in Camagüey, on May 2nd, 1943. She holds a Doctorate in Medicine, with the first expedient in her Course at Universidad de La Habana. She is specialized in Neurosurgery, with Excellent expedient at Instituto Nacional de Neurología y Neurocirugía. More over she specializes in neurological recovery. Researcher at Academia de Ciencias de Cuba. She accomplished a Medical Mission as neurosurgeon in Algeria (1980-83). At Instituto Nacional de Neurología y Neurocirugía se was Chief of the Service of Vascular Neurosurgery and Under Director Profesor. She introduced into Cuba, with the advances achieved by international scientific community and her links with it, the new field of neurological recovery. She was founder of Escuela Cubana y Latinoamericana de Restauración Neurológica. By her initiative, the Centro Internacional de Restauración Neurológica (CIREN) is created, being designed, established, founded and manager by her, achieving great national and international prestige. She is author of several scientific works, published by national and international specialized publications. She participated as speaker in scientific events, work visits and academic exchange as a professor for conferences and seminars in universities and institutions in United States, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Sweden, England, among other European and Latin American countries. She was named Honored Citizen of Kansas City, United States. She received the most significant decorations given to scientists and women in Cuba. Because of her scientific merits she was elected member of the Cuban Parliament in 1993. In 1994, after a long process of discussion with the ruling authorities, she resigned by her own decision to everything that linked her to the Cuban regime, including to her condition of representative. She resigned because the government wanted to turn the Medical Center she created into an institution only for foreigners who paid in dollars, with the subsequent discrimination towards Cuban patients. Also, in protest, she returned all the decorations she had received.

Hilda Molina
Hilda Molina
Doctora en Medicina, graduada con el Primer Expediente de su Curso en la Universidad de la Habana. Es especialista en Neurocirugía, graduada con Excelentísimo Expediente, en el Instituto Nacional de Neurología y Neurocirugía. Se especializa además en Restauración Neurológica. Investigadora Titular de la Academia de Ciencias de Cuba. Cumplió Misión Médica como Neurocirujana en Argelia (1980- 83). En el Instituto Nacional de Neurología y Neurocirugía ocupó los cargos de Jefa del Servicio de Neurocirugía Vascular y Sub-Directora Docente.