Cuban dissident hospitalized after eight days on hunger strike
BY LUZ ESCOBAR
Cuban dissident Guillermo Fariñas, leader of the Antitotalitario Front
(Fantu), was taken Thursday to Arnaldo Milian Castro Hospital in the
city of Santa Clara after growing extremely weak from a hunger strike
that has stretched for eight days.
Cuban activist Jorge Luis Artiles said that shortly after noon, Fariñas
lost consciousness and went into a state of shock, fainting and not
responding. Fariñas was treated in an observation room at the hospital,
where he got an electrocardiogram and had his vital signs checked.
In just over a week, Fariñas has lost about 26 pounds and his blood
pressure has dropped significantly. Outside the hospital, where he is
now with his mother Alicia Hernández Cabezas, a group of Fantu activists
is monitoring the situation.
Fariñas, who is recipient of the European Parliament 2010 Sakharov Prize
for Freedom of Thought, is protesting the repression, raids and
confiscations endured by Cuba's "non-violent" dissident groups and he is
calling for a commitment by the Cuban government to stop those acts.
On Wednesday, the coordinator of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU),
José Daniel Ferrer, said in Miami that about 280 activists throughout
the island had mobilized to support Fariñas and 20 other human rights
activists currently on hunger strike in Cuba, incluing Carlos Amel
Oliva, youth leader of the UNPACU, who has been on a hunger strike for
two weeks. He also reported that during the day about 80 activists were
detained but "continued fasting in the police stations."
Ferrer and other Cuban personalities like Ivan Hernández Carrillo
gathered in Miami on Wednesday to support the Cuban strikers. The
protesters —about 60 people— rallied and fasted outside the Versailles
restaurant in Miami demanding an end to the dictatorship in Cuba.
Source: Cuban dissident hospitalized after eight days on hunger strike |
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