Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Cuban Dissidents Have Demands Met, End Hunger Strike

Cuban Dissidents Have Demands Met, End Hunger Strike
Published September 19, 2012
Fox News Latino

A longtime Cuban dissident and her followers have abandoned a hunger
strike on its eighth day after receiving word the government will meet
their main demand.

Martha Beatriz Roque called off the strike when told the government
would free little known dissident Jorge Vasquez, who she claims is
serving a jail term for a minor, non-political crime.

In a statement released to The Associated Press, Roque supporter Rosa
Maria Naranjo said the protest had not been in vain.

The 67-year-old Roque is one of the best known figures in Cuba's small
dissident community. Opposition members say more than two dozen others
participated in the hunger strike.

Cuba's government considers all opposition members to be common
criminals and stooges in the pay of Washington. It has had no public
comment throughout the protest.

Cuba's small opposition community has already lost two of its leaders in
less than a year.

Veteran dissident Oswaldo Paya was killed in a car accident in July, and
Ladies in White founder Laura Pollan died of heart failure in October 2011.

Two other Cuban opposition figures have died in hunger strikes in recent
years. Wilman Villar died in January following a 50-day hunger strike he
called to protest his four-year sentence for assault, resisting arrest
and disrespecting authority.

In February 2010, Orlando Zapata Tamayo died after refusing food for
months. He was considered a prisoner of conscience by U.K.-based human
rights group Amnesty International.

Based on reporting by the Associated Press.

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