Cuba Politics

Cuban doctor Hilda Molina finally given permission to leave Cuba

Posted June 12, 2009 by publisher in Cuba Politics.


Cuba’s government has dropped its refusal to let a prominent physician visit her family abroad, Argentina’s government announced Friday. The measure resolves one of the few disputes between the two countries.

President Cristina Fernandez announced that Cuban officials told her that Dr. Hilda Molina had been given permission to leave Cuba for Argentina and she expressed “much satisfaction” at the decision.

Her left-leaning administration has had warm relations with communist Cuba.

Argentine news media has given extensive attention to Molina’s struggle to see the grandchildren who were born to her son and her Argentine daughter-in-law after they left Cuba in 1994.

International human rights groups for years have lobbied the Cuban government to give Molina permission to leave. Washington-based Human Rights Watch in February featured Molina’s case among examples of Cuba denying exit visas to several categories of applicants, including health care professionals.

While Cuba has sent thousands of doctors abroad on official aid missions, it restricts individual foreign travel by physicians, arguing that it has made too heavy investment in training them to see them freely emigrate for higher salaries elsewhere.

Molina was a prominent neurosurgeon at a government institution until 1994, when she resigned after questioning the ethics of using human stem cell tissue in studies on treating ailments such as Parkinson’s disease.

That same year her son Roberto Quinones left the country with his Argentine wife.

Daughter-in-law Veronica de Quinones told Argentine cable channel Todo Noticias that she did not know if Molina would stay in Argentina or return to Cuba.

Molina’s son told Radio 10 that new news “surprised all the family with great joy, because it something we have wanted for many years.”

Member Comments

On June 12, 2009, publisher wrote:

“While Cuba has sent thousands of doctors abroad on official aid missions, it restricts individual foreign travel by physicians, arguing that it has made too heavy investment in training them to see them freely emigrate for higher salaries elsewhere.”

Kind of like when a slave master bought a slave. He too had a heavy investment in the slave.

Grant? Can you put a positive spin on this for us? And be sure to tell us how the US government is involved and how the high pay of doctors here is the reason that doctors cannot leave Cuba.

C’mon Grant. We’re counting on you.

On June 12, 2009, Yeyo wrote:

Finally free after 15 years trying to leave Cuba.

On June 13, 2009, grant wrote:

For 3 months only! Will she return? Did not Bush veto stem cell research? Religious nut? My brotherinlaw leaves every two years to come to Canada for 3 months and he is a highly specialized cuban doctor and educator. BUT he knows people in The Canadian Embassy. Sorry PUB, I cannot explain away your problems.Perhaps if you educate yourself more on this and similar situations. She was considered a security problem for the inside knowledge she has on cuban research.

On June 13, 2009, publisher wrote:


Thanks for enlightening us. I did not know she was considered a security problem. Can you please post the link to where that was posted?

“Will she return?” That really shouldn’t be any of the government’s business. She is not a slave or is she?

On June 13, 2009, grant wrote:

Well for sure her son a well known member of the PCC sent to purchase 10,000 dollars of medical equipment in the Argentine will not be returning where he faces jail time for sealing the 10k.

Her research was top secret but after 15 years not so much.

On June 13, 2009, publisher wrote:

Interesting. Can you post a link to that article?

On June 14, 2009, Yeyo wrote:

Grant you are trying to justify what is simply unjustifiable. Your arguments show that you are not aware of the facts in Cuba. Most people in Cuba and mostly all in positions of some responsibility are members of the PCC.  I was myself, nobody choose me, one day the PCC secretary came to me and told me that I had been selected and what would you say if it was supposedly to be a great honor??
So now the thousands of people that are kept every year from leaving Cuba even when they have legal visas from a number of Countries, they are all security threats.
They kept her 15 years, 15 YEARS!!!! locked in Cuba without the chance of seeing her son and grandsons, come on please put yourself on her skin, forget the Castro propaganda and for a second think as a human being.

On June 14, 2009, publisher wrote:

“She was considered a security problem for the inside knowledge she has on cuban research.”


“Well for sure her son a well known member of the PCC sent to purchase 10,000 dollars of medical equipment in the Argentine will not be returning where he faces jail time for sealing the 10k.”

You state these facts yet I have not read them anywhere. Please educate us as to why Dr. Molina was a security threat?

Is Yoani Sanchez a security threat too? She is not allowed to leave Cuba either.

On June 14, 2009, grant wrote:

Yoani is subject to a criminal trial in the future. Followed by security when she leaves her apt. What do you think?

Do your research on the son and Molina.

LOCKED up! What a childish comment by Yeyo She was free to work , live etc.
YEYO for all your knowledge , you appear to know little about communism, itself. Only whar is good for the people is allowed.It is not called a dictatorship of the masses for nothing.

In the USA, Paul Robson, an american(think old man river) was denied the right to leave up to his death.(and the right to work)

On June 14, 2009, publisher wrote:

How did we get on the subjet of Yoani. Grant, you are so funny.

Please show me the article where you read that Yoani is subject to a criminal trial.

I’m not looking to do research. I am asking you to prove your statements of fact. Why should I have to research your point?

...and here we go, back to the US.

Grant really. It’s getting old. Your bullshit will not win here. Freedom and democracy will win. The truth will beat you.

Again, please post articles to prove your facts. Heck, even post Granma articles.

On June 14, 2009, Cassandra.Says wrote:

Straw men and red herrings galore, oh my! I don’t really know much about Hilda, her plans, or her actions in Cuba, which, oddly enough, inhibits me from forming any firm opinions. But my infirm opinions are these.

Why couldn’t the longed-for grandchildren have gone to Cuba to visit her? The planes fly both ways. When an application cites a bogus “compassionate” cause, I smell a rat.

Is she planning an anti-abortion campaign? Is she part of one? What has she lived on since quitting her job?

I think the “brain drain” or “pay for education” issues, while significant issues, do not apply here. She presumably has already paid—it’s not a life sentence but takes somewhat less time than paying off the $250,000 in student loans the average U.S. beginning doctor is saddled with.

You might want to browse U.S. Code Title 18 section 50 for passport denial, restriction, revocation and limitations. U.S. passports have been stamped “Not valid for travel to Cuba” for more than half a century. (Among other countries.) You don’t have to go back to Paul Robeson.

The major divide comes between those who believe Cuba’s civil liberties are properly judged by wartime standards and those who, for some obscure reason, deny or ignore that Cuba is, and always has been, facing an imminent threat from a belligerent enemy.

On June 14, 2009, Yeyo wrote:

Grant, not that I like her, because I do not like her or her policies when she was in charge of the CIREN, but the fact and the matter is that she was locked in Cuba and even having an Argentinian Visa and a Presidential request, she was not allowed to meet her family for 15 years.

You say that she was allowed to work, damn right she was, however, every person that ask to leave the country is punished most of the times by losing their regular work and sent to far places and undesirable positions which you have to accept if you want to continue working. I’m pretty sure that this is fine with Grant but freedom of travel is actually a human right and nobody should be punished for trying to travel anywhere.
Cuba is a dictatorship where there are no laws.

The reason why his son and grandsons did not flew to Havana to meet her is because should they chose this path they likely would be retained in Cuba and not allowed to leave again.

She likely has been living out the money that her son sends her.

I want to point that this is probably the better known case of separation of a Cuban family because a family member is not allowed to leave the island, however, other than rear, those cases are more common than what anybody may think, I personally know of hundreds of people that have passed by that terrible experience. The unwritten policy of the Castro government is that if a member of the family travel on business out of Cuba and chooses not to return the rest of the family is harshly punished including losing their job and not allowing them to emigrate for many years.  Additionally the persons that did not returned are not allowed to visit Cuba for many years.

On June 14, 2009, publisher wrote:

and here’s the best that the Cuban government propaganda site can come up with:

HAVANA TIMES, June 14 – Cuban neurosurgeon Hilda Molina traveled over the weekend to Argentina to meet with her family, after receiving from her country’s authorities the exit permit she had been demanding for some 15 years. “I believe my 90-year-old mother’s health is behind the decision to give me the authorization to leave the country,” said the woman, reported IPS.


Makes it sound like she has returned already.

On June 15, 2009, publisher wrote:

I am thinking this is Raul’s version of releasing political prisoners.

Great “gesture for gesture” President Castro.