Fired Biochemist Loses Court Appeal

Yanelys Nunez Leyva

Oscar Casanella

HAVANA TIMES — Biochemist Oscar Casanella, fired by the National Institute of Oncology and Radiobiology of Cuba (INOR), received the verdict from the Old Havana Municipal Court in the first forenight of December last year.

His complaint was based upon a number of incongruencies in the legal process carried out by MEDICuba’s Labor Board (OJL), as well as repeated abuses of power by several INOR managers, and was not met with a happy response.

The judges heading the case, Neysis Torres, Josefina Lopez and Osiris Diaz, have “Dismissed” his lawsuit.

In the Court’s understanding, Oscar’s first appeal with regard to the OJL’s violations in structure and behavior were justified because “circumstances sometimes coincide which prevent established protocol from being followed very strictly which doesn’t always lead to procedural imbalances or a mistaken ruling, and therefore in these cases, other procedural principles need to be analyzed which as well as respecting the law, need to come up with a solution to conflict… (…)”. [1]

Applied in this case, this means that the issue of witnesses being put forward by Casanella not being accepted by the OJL, as well as not allowing his guests to enter the Public Hearing, were justified because this is what the Labor Board had decided, their orders being unquestionable on the whole.

Likewise, the Court deemed another of the OJL’s actions correct which Oscar also appealed, referring to fraud in the Labor Board’s organization, where according to Casanella, a person, a stand-in member of this committee, wasn’t formally involved in the Public Hearing – as was the case – but then was able to take part in the deliberation and even sign the final ruling.

They also confirmed the fact that Oscar had insulted a Ministry of Interior official, Captain Alberto, by interviewing INOR employees, although the reason why he had behaved this way and his employment record weren’t taken into account and they didn’t demand the presence of this official[2], who in Casanella’s version of events, was the first to begin verbally abusing him.

Evidence presented by Oscar against INOR’s vice-director Lorenzo Anasagasti was ignored, as were “declarations about his ethical behavior and work procedure did not correspond to this judiciary, and the employee should take this up with the corresponding administrative courts.”[3]

[1]Old Havana Municipal Court Ruling. Sentence number one hundred and eighteen: (118). Investigation 123 in 2016. First recital.

[2] In spite of being summoned to the hearing on October 17th 2016, Captain Alberto did not appear and didn’t present any justification for his absence neither.

[3]Old Havana Municipal Court Ruling. Sentence number one hundred and eighteen: (118). Investigation no.123 in 2016. Fifth recital.

Yanelys Nuñez

Yanelys Nuñez Leyva: Writing is to expose oneself, undress before the inquisitive eyes of all. I like to write, not because I have developed a real fondness for nudity, but because I love composing words, thinking of stories, phrases that touch, images that provoke different feelings. Here I have a place to talk about art, life, me. In the end, feeling good about what you do is what matters; either with or without clothing.