A former Cuban citizen who says she was tortured with drugs and electricity as a political dissident filed a $10 million (Ђ8.6 million) lawsuit against Cuban President Fidel Castro and others in his government. In the lawsuit filed in state court on Tuesday, Belkis Ferro, 51, said she was tortured at a Cuban hospital that was a front for a military prison. She claims she was placed in a military camp at the age of 16 and forced to pick tobacco.
Ferro said when she began to rip the plants from the ground rather than prune them, she was sent to Mazorra, a Havana psychiatric hospital and subjected to electric shocks and, although she was not diabetic, she was forced to take insulin injections that rendered her unconscious. The hospital has been cited in several lawsuits as the place where many detainees were tortured, the AP reports.
Her attorney, Edgar Guzman, said the challenge is trying to serve the defendants with the lawsuit. If they are served but do not appear in court, Guzman can secure a default victory in absentia. Several other people who sued Castro were awarded default judgments because the Cuban government ignored the lawsuits.
The Cuban government said it wouldn't defend itself against Ferro's suit.
Guzman said he will work with the Cuban embassies in Spain and Venezuela to serve Castro, his brother Raul Castro, the Cuban government and its military.
The suit also names the estate of Eriberto Mederos as one of the defendants. Mederos, was convicted in 2002 in U.S. federal court of illegally obtaining U.S. citizenship. He had concealed his role in torturing prisoners, but he died before he was sentenced. A judgment could include liens on property or bank accounts held by the estate, Guzman said. A.M.