State Security seeks to bribe a "Lady in White" with special care for her sick daughter
Ada María López Canino is Lady in White (Dama de Blanco), the national coordinator of the Network of Independent Libraries, author of the blog Mamá en casa, and the mother of five children.
For participating in the female opposition group’s activities she has suffered beatings that have left her unconscious and ailing for days. She has also received death threats, and the regime's agents have tried to intimidate her with the "possible disappearance" of her twin daughters, Lliliany and Eliany Díaz López, just ten years old.
But when Lliliany fell ill a few weeks ago and was admitted to William Soler Children's Hospital, State Security forces saw an opportunity to bribe Ada María.
"It's like my two daughters are connected: when one comes down with something, she's gives it to the other," said the activist.
She says that in late May the family doctor, Rangel Guerra, decided to have tests run on both to rule out dengue. The first tests were negative, but there were problems when Lliliany's analyses were checked, so the doctor recommended an X-ray.
The test showed a "stopper," as they call it, the size of an orange in the girl's left lung, the mother explained.
Additional X-rays at the polyclinic in Capdevila showed the same thing. The family doctor decided that the child should be admitted, and sent her to William Soler where, after an ultrasound, the doctor on duty prescribed a treatment of intravenous crystalline penicillin every six hours.
The girl was hospitalized on June 4. "The next day, on Sunday, 5 June, a Security agent showed up, sent by Luisito, explaining that he was interested in my daughter's case."
Who is Luisito?
Luisito is the Security agent charged with hounding the Ladies in White. He is said to be the head of all these operations.
With what name did the agent identify himself?
He didn´t. I’m familiar with him, from the Sunday harassment. I don't want to get it wrong, but I think his name is Jonathan.
- What happened then?
I was upset when I saw him there. He said: "Ada María, don't get flustered. Think about your daughter's health." It was incredible.
I told him that what I had to think about was that hospital, and that my camera was loaded with photos for the news, to reveal the subhuman conditions which we mothers and our children suffered there.
So he said to me: "Look, Ada María, we’re going to transfer the girl to the CIMEQ Hospital." I replied: "No way. If the children in this wing go to CIMEQ, mine goes too. Otherwise my child stays with the children here, because my girl is from the humbler classes."
He also had a carton of juice for my daughter. I asked him if he had some for the other children too, and he replied that it was just for her. I said, "No way. If you have juice for all the children here, if you've come with a truck or a bus full of juice, my daughter will have some. If not, my child will have none. She'll drink water or whatever I can give her."
What were the subhuman conditions you saw there?
That hospital is in dismal condition. The bathrooms are falling apart, and there is just one for a whole wing, with adults and children using the same one. The refrigerator does not work, and the children's yogurt would spoil.
When I complained about the spoiled yogurt, they gave me another, because I’m a Lady in White, but they didn´t give the other children any. I was going to complain to the administration, and the nurse told me: "If I have to tie you up here, I'll tie you up. But you're not going anywhere. I'm in charge of that." And they brought me a good yogurt, with probiotics, for my daughter. The other children were given nothing.
How do you think the military found out that your child was admitted?
I don't know. They are always up on everything that happens to us. They know everything. All our telephone conversations are listened to. I called my brother and told him that I had to rush my daughter to the hospital, so they knew about it right away.
What were the strongest attacks the Ladies in White suffered, at the #TodosMarchamos campaign and on that Sunday at which your child was admitted and agent Jonathan demonstrated such "charity?"
It was a rainy day, and when the Ladies in White came out they were beaten. Now they put vehicles in front of our cameras when they attack people, or they beat people in the buses so that we can´t film it.
That day they beat Maylen González González inside the bus. A bunch of policewomen jumped her and gave her a good walloping.
The next Wednesday they discharged my daughter. So far she's doing pretty well. Last Sunday (June 12) I went to march with the Ladies, but they grabbed me on Fifth Avenue and 42nd, and took me in a police car to Santiago de las Vegas. They let me go in the late afternoon.
They don't even want us in the prisons. Our message, that of freedom, creates problems for this State, everywhere. Berta Soler was hit with something hard. She does not know what. Several men wrested a Cuban flag from her, and the pressure they applied was so great that they singed her arm.
Is your daughter now fully recovered?
She has to return to the hospital to see her doctors again. She must keep seeing a pulmonologist, although the ultrasound on her lung showed nothing, along with the X-rays. The doctors asked me: "Lady, what did you do?" I haven't done anything. God has. Because my God is a living God, and also works miracles in these times.
Was the hospital care good?
The doctors were very good.
Did you feel discriminated against?
No, no, no. The care provided by the doctors was excellent. The nurses too.
What was Jonathan's reaction? Did he leave?
Yes, he left when I talked to him like I did. Even the nurse said, "If you don´t have juice for all the kids, don't come back."