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Ana Rodriguez, ex-Cuban political prisoner, faces eviction after bank sells her home of 26 years

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Ana Rodriguez, a Cuban political prisoner who raised awareness about human rights violations in women’s prisons on the communist island, is facing eviction. She said she is not ready to leave the home where she has lived for the last 26 years.

Rodriguez, 83, the co-author of “Diary of a Survivor: Nineteen Years in a Cuban Women’s Prison,” said she bought the home with a roommate who died of cancer. She said the last payment the bank accepted from her was in 2009.

“I stopped paying when they forced me,” said Rodriguez, whose attorneys say she was the victim of fraudulent foreclosure by Bank of America and Bank of New York Mellon.

The mortgage bounced among lenders and years of court actions followed, including a joint judgment filed in 2018 where it says Rodriguez allegedly agreed to foreclosure and in exchange, the Bank of New York Mellon would not file a lawsuit against her for financial losses.

“No, I never have an agreement with anyone. If I have signed the paper with the lawyer by thinking that he was helping me and he makes me sign something, that was wrong,” Rodriguez said.

Records show the home near Le Jeune Road and Southwest 13th Street was sold last year to a woman from California. Rodriguez, who is going blind from macular degeneration, said someone left a 24-hour notice to vacate on the front door over the weekend.

Rodriguez said she was grateful Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava was advocating for her and was able to stop two attempts to evict her.

“It’s important to make sure Ana has every opportunity to seek remedy in the legal system,” Levine Cava said in a statement on Monday.

Rodriguez’s attorneys filed a motion with the Third District Court of Appeal asking for a stay. The motion was denied and the eviction will likely happen on Tuesday morning. There is an ongoing fundraiser to help her.

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About the Authors:

Terrell Forney joined Local 10 News in October 2005 as a general assignment reporter. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, but a desire to escape the harsh winters of the north brought him to South Florida.

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.