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Posted December 23, 2004 by publisher in Cuba Human Rights

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Dr. Hilda Molina, who has been denied Cuban permission to travel, spent the evening at the Argentine Embassy.

A prominent Cuban doctor who was denied permission to travel to Buenos Aires to visit relatives was staying at the Argentine Embassy on Thursday, but her son said she does not plan to seek asylum in a case that has raised tensions between the two nations.

Dr. Hilda Molina, 61, was in the embassy as a ‘‘guest,’’ Molina’s son, Roberto Quinones, told reporters in Buenos Aires. Quinones, also a doctor, said his mother and grandmother stayed at the embassy after the elderly woman became ill.

Molina, a brain surgeon who has held top government posts, entered the embassy Wednesday with her 84-year-old mother. Molina went there to check on the status of her travel request, Quinones said.

His grandmother then fell ill, he said. Molina stayed overnight with the elderly woman at the embassy, he said.

‘‘My mother doesn’t want this to affect diplomatic relations between the countries, or be turned into a political act,’’ Quinones said of the case.
Argentine officials in Havana and Buenos Aires have declined to comment.

When asked why his grandmother didn’t go to a Havana hospital, Quinones, who lives in exile in Argentina, said healthcare in Cuba “is only good for tourists and those with money.’‘

Molina, once a friend of President Fidel Castro, is considered an opponent of his communist government. Her son has been asking the Cuban leader to let his mother travel for more than a decade.

Argentine President Nestor Kirchner this month wrote a letter to Castro, asking him to let Molina visit her son and two grandchildren. Castro declined, and instead offered to have the family spend Christmas with their mother in Cuba.

Argentine Foreign Minister Rafael Bielsa ordered Ra�l Taleb, ambassador to Cuba, to return to Argentina after Castro’s response was made public Tuesday.

  1. Follow up post #1 added on December 23, 2004 by Jesus with 42 total posts

    This is the wrong decision by the government of Cuba, let the woman travel to visit her son and grandchildren. It is not good policy to antagonize a friendly nation over one individual. If Mr. quinones does not want to travel to Cuba, that is his loss and if Mrs. Molina wants to stay in Argentina, so be it.

  2. Follow up post #2 added on December 29, 2004 by Dana Garrett with 252 total posts

    Jesus, I agree.  If a mother wants to visit and even live w/ her son, then she should be allowed to do so.  Family bonds and ties should never become the victim of relatively minute public relation needs. 

    The smartest thing would be for Castro to thank her for her years of service to the Cuban people, pay for her plane ticket and let her go.  Then it would cease to be an issue. 

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