A prominent national group of physicians claims Cuban doctors
treating Elian Gonzalez are practicing without a license, and is asking
state officials to step in and force them to stop.
Jane Orient, M.D., executive director of the
American Physicians and Surgeons, told WorldNetDaily she believes the doctors from Cuba are not licensed and may be using drugs to condition Elian before he appears in court. She said a letter of complaint would be filed today in Maryland.
Elian, 6, suffered a traumatic seizure when he was taken at gunpoint in a frightening raid by government agents, according to Orient. She said she does not trust the “glowing reports” from unnamed government-appointed doctors that Elian has not suffered any adverse effects from the raid.
“The child’s being treated by Cubans who are not licensed to practice in the United States,” said Orient.
Does she believe Elian has been given drugs to control his behavior?
“Sure,” she said. “They may be using drugs, or maybe they’re just using manipulation, isolation, seclusion, and threats and promises. I mean, how do you find out what’s going on in there?”
U.S. marshals at the Aspen Institute in Wye, Maryland, are holding the boy under guard. Many Cubans have been permitted to be with him, but lawyers, doctors, the press and even elected officials have been prevented from observing Elian.
Drugs were confiscated from the Cubans as they entered the U.S. and again when they left, according to several press reports. Orient said one drug involved was Neprobamate, which is also known as Miltown.
“I don’t think it’s used very much in this country at all anymore. It’s certainly not supposed to be used on children,” Orient explained. She said it is an anti-anxiety drug used to “calm the person down and make him more amenable to whatever suggestions his keepers want to make. I suppose for many people it just has a mind-numbing effect.”
Insulin was also confiscated by U.S. officials, which caused Orient concern.
“Certainly that’s a method of psychological torture, or even life threatening to induce insulin shock in somebody,” she told WorldNetDaily in a phone interview.
“What we’re going to do now is, we’re calling on the state of Maryland to throw those Cuban doctors out. The State Department may have let them in, but it’s up to the states who can practice medicine in individual states,” said Kathryn Serkes, spokesperson for the group.
Orient has already asked Attorney General Janet Reno to prevent the Cuban doctors from treating Elian on the grounds that they do not have a license to practice here. Her letter has gone unanswered, so now she is taking her complaint to the state of Maryland.
Orient sent letters to Reno and Immigration and Naturalization
Service Commissioner, Doris Meissner, asking them to disclose the names and backgrounds of all government-appointed medical personnel involved in the treatment or evaluation of the boy, including psychiatrists and psychologists. There has been no response.
“We are extremely concerned about Elian’s physical and emotional well-being. Based on the experience of the past two weeks, we’re not confident that the glowing reports from anonymous government doctors of the boy’s easy adjustment following a traumatic seizure at gunpoint are indeed, unbiased, or for that matter, first-hand,” said Orient in the letters.
Elian’s personal doctor has also expressed great concern over what has happened, and she has not been permitted to see Elian since he was taken and placed in seclusion.
“The bottom line is, you’ve got Dr. Lydia Usategui who was legally treating the boy with the permission of the guardians. She was tear gassed the morning of the raid. Then Elian’s handed over to Cuban doctors who are in this country practicing illegally. So if the feds won’t do anything about it, we’re going to the state of Maryland and calling for them to tell these doctors that they can’t practice in the U.S. without a license,” explained Serkes.
Both Usategui and her husband Alfred Manrara were present during the government raid to take the boy by force.
“On the day of the raid by federal agents, Lydia was on the back porch of Lazaro’s home and had a submachine gun pointed at her as she was told to lie on the ground and look down, then they sprayed pepper gas at her as they departed,” explained Manrara in a written report provided to WorldNetDaily.
|Jane Orient, M.D., claims the armed assault by government agents to take Elian Gonzalez into custody caused the boy to be seized in a “traumatic” way.|
“Her intention had been to be inside the home next to the child to witness (as a psychiatrist) how the Justice Department would do the removal of the child from his Miami family (never imagining that it would be violent or with such brutal force),” wrote Manrara. “However, as the federal agents approached the house, the rear door to the porch was closed by the family before she could get inside, and she remained in the rear porch throughout the assault.
“Meanwhile, I (there to accompany my wife) was within 10 feet of the home’s front door, was thrown by the agents against a fence, got pepper gas, and witnessed the screaming child being taken right in front of me to the waiting van,” explained Manrara.
Orient and Serkes believe Elian is being drugged so he can be conditioned and prepared for his court appearance.
“We can’t go in and ask them to release his medical records, because from our viewpoint that would violate his rights, which have already been violated. We don’t want to call for that, although we’d like to know because the thing is that, well we’d like to know if he’s being brainwashed, getting drugs, or whatever, but we don’t feel that we can properly ask that. So what we could probably ask for is who are these people, and at least reveal their conflict of interest and at least throw out the team of Cuban brain washers,” explained Serkes.
She said she has spoken extensively with Usategui who believes Elian’s stubborn desire to stay in the U.S. has proven challenging for Cuban doctors trying to recondition him.
“It’s her assessment that they’re not getting anywhere, because if they were getting anywhere they’d have him propped up in front of a camera making a statement by now. She said he’s a pretty hardheaded little boy about that. He does not want to go back to Cuba. She said he was very clear about that. He had no problem being with his father, but he does not want to go back,” said Serkes.
Orient complained that Dr. Irwin Redlener was appointed by the INS to provide information to the Justice Department without ever personally examining Elian.
Redlener is a prominent pediatrician with
longstanding political ties to President Bill Clinton and First Lady
Hillary Clinton. He played a significant role in the drafting of the failed Clinton health care reform package.
“We are appalled that the Department of Justice and the INS may have relied on the armchair diagnosis of an administration operative in making their decision to go ahead with a frightening raid in the dark,” said Orient.
Redlener never personally examined Elian, was never given permission to treat him, and he and other government appointed doctors never requested copies of his medical records, according to Usategui.
“We’re just appalled at this, and we’re appalled that doctors would allow themselves to be used as propaganda pawns,” Serkes stated.
The U.S. State Department has not provided the Cuban government
with everything President Fidel Castro has demanded. Castro has been critical of U.S. policy that reduces the number of Cubans who are permitted to be with Elian.
If Castro had his way, dozens of psychologists, doctors, and Elian’s classmates should be permitted into the U.S. to be with the young boy at the center of the international political debate. Far fewer were permitted in than requested, and Castro has expressed great anger over the failure of the U.S. government to comply with his demands.
Only his previously estranged father, stepmother, infant stepbrother, a few doctors, and a few classmates have been permitted to stay with him. Another stepbrother and many additional extended family members have been forced to stay behind in Cuba.
Castro is said to be desperate to get Elian back to Cuba because
of a prophecy issued by an African-based religion known as Santeria. The popular religion has designated Elian as the reincarnation of the Christ Child, known as El Egua. The prophecy states that Castro will remain in power only if El Egua is returned to Cuba.
See Joseph Farah’s commentary: