Cuban Child Hospitalized with Lung Injury After Teacher's Assault in Sancti Spíritus

Monday, May 13, 2024 by Zoe Salinas

A Cuban boy of just five years old has been hospitalized with fluid in his lung following a brutal beating by his teacher at a preschool in Sancti Spíritus. "Today, with immense pain, I am making this public accusation so that the world knows about the abuses being committed in Cuban schools. This is my nephew, only 5 years old, attending preschool. The teacher took a toy machete and hit the boy," revealed Lizandra Liens, the boy's aunt, in a Facebook post.

"The blow caused fluid to accumulate in his lung, and he is currently hospitalized in Sancti Spíritus. From the child's own mouth, he recounted everything that happened," Liens explained, who also shared a harrowing video where her nephew, named Angelo, tells a doctor at the medical center about the assault he endured. "The teacher hit me hard… I stood on the chair, outside… She grabbed the machete and hit me... bam!" the young boy confessed, showing the doctor where he was struck.

Angelo revealed he felt pain on the left side when the doctor palpated him during the physical examination. Photos posted by Liens show Angelo receiving intravenous fluids and connected to an oxygen tank. The aunt also uploaded photos and videos of the ultrasound performed at the Yaguajay clinic.

In the comments, numerous people expressed their outrage, agreeing that the abusive teacher should be fired, and some even suggested she should be imprisoned. "Abuser", "she should never have been a teacher in her life", and "what right does a mere teacher have to hit someone else's child?" were among the reactions in the post.

In response to the numerous calls for justice for young Angelo, his aunt stated that she had reported the incident to the authorities, but she would also "spread the word everywhere, they shouldn't think it will just be left like this," she warned.

According to medical literature, fluid can accumulate in the lungs due to trauma to the chest wall, among other causes, leading to pulmonary edema which requires immediate medical attention. Treatment generally includes the provision of additional oxygen and medication administration.

Violence has become a "commonplace" feature in all walks of life in Cuba, including the educational sector, showcasing the degradation of society amidst the ongoing economic, social, and political crisis facing the country. From crimes, assaults, and thefts to brawls in queues, parties, or any public space, the escalation of violence seems to have no end on the island.

Recently, in what ended up as a massive brawl, the mother of a student at a secondary school in Guanabacoa, Havana, along with her daughter and three other students, attacked another girl, a teacher who tried to intervene, and other teenagers who also attempted to intervene. In November 2023, a Cuban teacher was murdered in Encrucijada, Villa Clara, when she intervened in a fight between two students. In the incident, a woman attacked her with a sharp object, leading to her death.

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