Cuban gov't accused of smearing dissidents
Cuban dissident Marta Beatriz Roque. EFE/File
Havana, Sep 26 (EFE).- Former political prisoner Marta Beatriz Roque on
Wednesday said that Cuba's Communist government "is using low and dirty
methods" to discredit the opposition and confuse public opinion.
Roque earlier this month headed a hunger strike that was joined by a
score of other dissidents to demand the release from prison of a
colleague and to protest the circumstances the opposition finds itself
in, a protest state television described as a "media show" and an
"Indisputably, the government is very bothered by the strike and the
repercussions it has had internationally," Roque told Efe in a response
to Tuesday's piece on state television.
The dissident economist said that the reproduction of images taken
inside her home and the broadcasting of several of her telephone
conversations in the reporting are "violations of privacy. What has been
done is unconstitutional."
"All that is manipulated," she added, going on to say that she is not
going to "justify at all what the government says because they are
telling lies and we have the truth."
The reporting on Cuban state television said that at least 13 dissidents
who had declared themselves to be on hunger strike were actually eating
during that time and it presented the testimony of a man said to be one
of Roque's neighbors who claimed that the dissident asked him to buy
fruit and vegetables during the protest.
After pursuing the hunger strike for eight days, Roque announced that
she was terminating the fast on Sept. 18 upon learning that Cuban
authorities had promised to release Jorge Vazquez, though he has yet to
be let out of prison.
The Cuban government views the dissidents as counterrevolutionaries and
"mercenaries" funded by the U.S. government and Cuban exile groups.