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Mother says son died mysteriously in Havana. By Juan O. Tamayo.
  
13-01-2014

web/folder.asp?folderID=215

Mother says son died mysteriously in Havana
By Juan O. Tamayo
Miami Herald
January 11, 2014

A Canadian-born U.S. citizen died under mysterious circumstances on the roof of Cuba’s famed Hotel Nacional, his mother alleged in Miami Friday.

“He went out the night of Nov. 21, saying he wanted to meet up with his cousin. The next morning, his bed was empty. I called the cousin and he said he had not seen my son,” Onelia Ross told el Nuevo Herald.

The body of Brandon Ross, 31, was cremated immediately by the Cuban government, preventing an independent autopsy, even though Canadian officials offered to help arrange its return home, Ross said.

Ross said she was born in Cuba and met her husband, a Canadian diplomat, when he served in Havana from 1974 to 1976. They live in Canada and Brandon was born in Ottawa but obtained U.S. citizenship after studying in the United States, she added.

The mother said she and Brandon flew to Cuba on Nov. 17 for a vacation, his first-ever trip to the island, and rented rooms in a private home in the Vedado neighborhood of Havana not far from the Hotel Nacional.

On Nov. 21 mother and son walked around the seaside boulevard known as the Malecón, stopped at the hotel for a drink and then returned to the rooms, Ross said. Brandon then went out and she saw him again only when was asked to identify his body the next day.

Ross broke down crying and said she was too distraught to continue speaking with el Nuevo Herald, but confirmed details that she provided to the Telemundo51 TV channel in Miami, which first reported the case .

“We were very happy to be going (to Cuba), and everything turned into a nightmare,” she told Telemundo51 reporter Ernesto Morales.
When she identified the body, she told the TV station, “my son’s face was like he had been punched.” His left eye was swollen and almost black, his right eye was purple, she added. “His jaw was broken, and one of his teeth was broken.”

Cuban authorities told her that Ross was on the roof of the hotel when he slipped and fell about 20 feet, the mother told Telemundo51. They also said that he survived about 12 hours before dying from his injuries, the mother said.

Her son had mentioned that he wanted to take some photos from the roof of the hotel, she told the TV station. There was no explanation of how he could have reached the roof, which is not known to be open to the public.

Authorities also told her that her son died during the night but did not give her a copy of his autopsy, Ross added. The last photos on his camera — which she said showed no sign of any fall — were apparently taken as the sun rose.

Friends of the mother have told reporters that she believes Brandon was beaten to death but has not explained how she reached that suspicion.

“In that miserable country there are no laws,” she told the station.

The State Department Friday confirmed Brandon Ross’ death on Nov. 22 and said it was “providing all appropriate consular assistance” to his family but added that “out of respect for the privacy of those affected, we have no further comment.”

Beatrice Fenelon, spokesperson for Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, confirmed a Canadian citizen died in Cuba but did not give his name and said Canadian consular officials in Havana have helped the family.

The consular officials also “have been in contact with local authorities,” Fenelon said, but further details of the case cannot be released “to protect the privacy of the individual concerned.”

__________________

24-01-20154 Questions for Roberta Jacobson, the Lead US Negotiator in Cuba. By Justin Fishel and pat O'Gara.
22-01-2015U.S., Cuba clash over immigration at start of historic talks. By Daniel Trotta.
20-01-2015Cuba video: News Conference in Havana with the U.S Democratic Congressmen before  their departure.
20-01-2015Video CBC News: Cuba-U.S. détente: Now comes the 'managing expectations' part.
19-01-2015U.S. to seek end to travel curbs, set up embassy in Cuba talks. By Lesley Wroughton.
19-01-2015Rosa Maria Paya to Join Senator Marco Rubio at State of the Union. By Capitol Hill Cubans.
16-01-2015Cuban State Telecom Etecsa Denies Rollout of New Wi-Fi Service. LAHT.
16-01-2015Two of the 53 dissidents released by Cuba rearrested. By Andrew OReilly and Carmen M Llona.
15-01-2015Senators Question Legality of Cuba Regulatory Changes. By Capitol Hill Cubans. 
13-01-2015How prisoner names were drawn up in U.S.-Cuba secret talks. By the time of the announcement 17 of the prisoners had already been freed. By David Adams, Matt Spetalnick and Lesley Wroughton.
09-01-201536 activists freed in last two days, but on condition that they report regularly to the authorities and most of them warned they would be sent back to prison if they continued their opposition activities. By Daniel Wallis.
08-01-2015Cuba: Nine of 53 political prisoners released over the past 24 hours. By Daniel Wallis and Nelson Acosta.
08-01-2015Appeal against the arrest of graffiti artist El Sexto rejected; prisoner transferred to Valle Grande. DDC. 
07-01-2015White House facing questions over murky status of 53 prisoners Cuba agreed to free. By Barnini Chakraborty.
06-01-2015An Independent Legal Group Files a Habeas Corpus Petition on behalf of El Sexto. 14ymedio.
06-01-2015More Dissidents Arrested in Cuba Today. Capitol Hill Cubans.
06-01-2015During Obama-Castro Negotiations, Over 13,000 Political Arrests Took Place in Cuba. Capitol Hill Cubans.
04-01-2015Tania Bruguera's lawyer has decided to create a case for presentation to the UN Commission on Human Rights.
02-01-2015Cuban police detain protesters outside prison, dissidents say. By Daniel Trotta.
01-01-2015Video PBS News: Assistant Secretary of State of Western Hemisphere Affairs Roberta Jacobson: "No illusions about Cuba's willingness to allow freedoms."
31-12-2014Tania Bruguera was released from detention and called for a press Conference, however, sources report that she was arrested again. Antonio Rodiles and Carlos Fuentes still detained.
31-12-201414ymedio news: Tania Bruguera Under Arrest at Acosta Police Station in Diez de Octubre, Havana.
31-12-201414ymedio news: Several activists and Reinaldo Escobar, editor-in-chief of 14ymedio arrested.
31-12-2014Cuban activists arrested to prevent their attendance at a Havana gathering.
29-12-2014Despite Official Threats , Cuban Artists Rights Performance Will Continue. #YoTambienExijo.
28-12-2014In U.S.-Cuba prisoner swap, mystery surrounds the unnamed 53. By Daniel Trotta.
26-12-2014Cuba Deal Brings Deportation Questions. By Maria Sacchetti. BG.
23-12-2014The Cuban opposition calls for strengthening unity in diversity. The list of prisoners to be released, which represents about half of those imprisoned for political reasons in Cuba yet not known. 14ymedio.
17-12-2014CNN VIDEO - OBAMA STATEMENT. Cuba releases American Alan Gross, paves way for historic easing of American sanctions.
14-12-2014Prohibition at G Street, Havana, another attempt at dismantling the space rock enthusiasts have made for themselves. By Ernesto Carralero Burgos. HT.
11-12-2014Lady in White Sonia Garro and two other activists released, awaiting trial from their homes. By 14ymedio.
10-12-2014Cuba video photos: Cuba detains activists in skirmishes on Human Rights Day. By Daniel Trotta. Reuters.
10-12-2014Cuba Suspends Talks With European Union. By Capitol Hill Cubans.
09-12-2014Santiesteban Protests Against Conditions Of His Confinement. By Lilianne Ruiz.
06-12-2014El Sexto Again in Danger, December 2014. By Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo.
02-12-2014U.S. Considers Imposing Non-Sectorial Sanctions on Venezuela. The U.S. government's concern has deepened as there has been no apparent will on Venezuela's part to change politically or economically. LAHT.
29-11-2014UNPACU Denounces a Plan for Liquidating the Most Active Opposition. By 14yMedio.
27-11-2014"Donetsk Republic" to send delegation to Venezuela, Cuba for recognition talks. TASS.
26-11-2014Cuban State Security attempts against the life of Cuban opposition leader Guillermo Fariñas. By Eva Belfrage.
26-11-2014Spain urges Cuba to grant free travel to dissidents. By Nelson Acosta and Daniel Trotta. Reuters.
22-11-2014Cuban migrants head off from Caymans, bound for Honduras. By Peter Polack.
20-11-2014VIDEO: Senior Administration Official: Democratic Reforms Needed in Cuba Prior to Policy Changes. By Capitol Hill Cubans.
14-11-2014Stung by sanctions scandal, Cuba defends North Korea at U.N. By Louis Charbonneau.
04-11-2014The Castro regime clearly feels its enjoying a high-level of impunity. In ten months 8,012 political arrests in Cuba, a quadruple since 2010. Nine Cuban political prisoners handed sentences of 2-7 years. Capitol Hill Cubans.
01-11-2014Former Cuban prisoners of conscience demand right to travel overseas. By Uncommon Sense.
29-10-2014Cuban migrant recounts nightmare voyage on raft. Beloit Daily News/AP. 
27-10-2014Cuban prisoner of conscience Iván Fernández Depestre beaten up and threatened with death by prison official. By Notes from the Cuban Exile Quarter.
23-10-2014Artist El Sexto faced trial, but was absolved of all charges. By 14yMedio.
17-10-2014Christian home bulldozed in Cuba. By Christian New Media Conference.
13-10-2014Young Cuban Denounces new Human Rights Violation. By Yusmila Reyna Ferrer.





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