Tuesday, June 06, 2017

The Ministry Ratifies the Expulsion of Professor Dalila Rodriguez from the University of Las Villas

The Ministry Ratifies the Expulsion of Professor Dalila Rodriguez from
the University of Las Villas

14ymedio, Havana, 3 June 2017 – The Ministry of Higher Education (MES)
ratified the expulsion of Professor Dalila Rodriguez from the Marta
Abreu Central University of Las Villas. A letter dated May 9 and
delivered this Friday to the academic, responds to her earlier appeal
and confirms the revocation of her teaching status, as Rodriguez
explained to 14ymedio.

The document is signed by the MES legal advisor, Denisse Pereira Yero,
and by the chief of the Legal Department, Jorge Valdes Asan. The
officials will not consider an appeal by Rodriguez because "an
infraction of Article 74 Subsection (d) suffices to lose Teaching Status

On April 11 the professor received an order of dismissal from her
position on the Humanities Faculty, issued by the dean Andres Castro
Alegria, and it invoked Article 74 of the Regulation for the application
of the Higher Education Teaching Categories.

The argument put forward to justify the expulsion was that the professor
had not managed "to rectify a set of attitudes that deviate socially and
ethically from the correct teaching activity that her teaching status
demands, and that can affect the education of students." Rodriguez
received the news with surprise.

The philologist, 33 years of age and a resident of the Villa Clara
township of Camajuani, was, until her expulsion, studying for a
doctorate in Pedagogical Sciences after having obtained a master's in
Linguistics and Publishing Studies. She was active in the union and in
February received an excellent evaluation.

From the beginning of 2015, the academic experienced pressure from
State Security. Several agents interviewed her in order to find out if
she had contacts with the activist and evangelical pastor Mario Felix
Lleonart. There were also interested in knowing about relationships of
her father, Leonardo Rodriguez Alonso, coordinator of the Patmos
Institute, an independent organization that defends religious rights in

Dalila Rodriguez asserts that she does not belong to any dissident
group, nor does she even attend events convened by independent entities
on the Island. "They have done all this to make my father feel guilty,"
she says.

When they told her of her dismissal, the first vice-dean, Ossana Molerio
Perez, and the legal advisor also informed her that she would not be
allowed to appeal via the union, and they warned her that she must not
"set foot" again in the University.

The dismissal process was plagued by irregularities, Rodriguez
complains. According to regulations, her case should be reviewed first
by the commission in charge of teaching categories and she should be
offered seven days to appeal. Nevertheless, the dean made the decision
directly and without respecting deadlines.

Rodriguez then decided to write to the Minister of Higher Education,
Jose Saborido, but the answer received this week asserts that in her
case, "there is no violation" because "it does not involve a
disciplinary process but a special administrative proceeding."

In a phone conversation with 14ymedio, the professor called it
"incredible" that, shortly after having been evaluated with the highest
marks in her work, she has turned into someone "with serious ethical and
social problems who damages the education" of students.

She said she felt "totally helpless after working for 11 years in that
university," and she said that the teaching authorities "have not been
able to show any evidence against her."

Journalism student Karla Perez Gonzales was expelled a few days later
from the same university after being accused of belonging to the Somos+
Movement and "having a strategy from the beginning of her studies to
subvert youth."

Her case inspired a wave of indignation, and official voices spoke in
her favor, like that of singer-songwriter Silvio Rodriguez, who wrote on
his blog: "What brutes we are, fuck, decades pass and we don't learn."

Translated by Mary Lou Keel

Source: The Ministry Ratifies the Expulsion of Professor Dalila
Rodriguez from the University of Las Villas – Translating Cuba -

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