martes, junio 20, 2006

American imprisoned for 8 days in Cuba for bringing medical supplies.


Rick Schwag of Lyndonville and his nonprofit organization, Caribbean Medical Transport, have, over the past decade, helped send to Cuba 18 40-foot containers filled with medical equipment, supplies and pharmaceuticals.

He has visited the communist island more than 20 times and has extensive contacts in Cuban government, health and religious circles.

He was, therefore, shocked when Cuban authorities jailed him for eight days during a visit to Havana last fall. They never told him why he was being detained, never gave him a chance to confront his accusers and never allowed him to contact anyone outside the prison. And as unexpectedly as he was imprisoned, Schwag was told to buy his airline ticket and leave the island.

In retrospect, Schwag, 53, thinks he might have run afoul of high-ranking Cuban officials who might have helped "divert" costly anesthesiology machines he was transporting to the island from doctors at Johns Hopkins University. He will never be sure, because everyone he has contacted in Cuba and the United States claims ignorance.

The whole story in: Burlington Free Press