Fariñas Begins Hunger And Thirst Strike To Demand Dialogue With The
Government / 14ymedio
14ymedio, Havana, 20 July 2016 — Guillermo Fariñas, winner of the
European Parliament's Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in 2010, has
declared a hunger and thirst strike and as of dawn Wednesday to demand
an end to the beatings of non-violent opponents in Cuba and that a
dialogue be opened with government.
"It would be cynical of the Cuban government, which was a mediator in
the dialog between the Colombian [FARC] guerillas and the authorities of
that country, to be unable to sit down and dialog with a non-violent
opposition to avoid these beatings and other outrages," he said in a
conversation with 14ymedio.
The opposition figure is asking Cuban president Raul Castro to
"publically commit before national and international public opinion to
cease these beatings, torture, death threats, the creation of false
criminal charges against opponents, searching dissidents' homes and
confiscating the personal belongings of opponents," and that the
government "designate a vice president to meet with 12 prominent leaders
of the internal opposition," responsible for ensuring the end of the
The announcement comes after Fariñas denounced, on Tuesday, a beating by
police officers in Santa Clara, and would direct the Fifth Police
Station to communicate with the Pinar del Rio Unit where a member of the
Anti-Totalitarian Forum (FANTU) – the group Fariñas coordinates – who
was arrested last Thursday.
"I offered no resistance, but they still beat me, they threw me into a
patrol car, they forcefully handcuffed me, and used a strangulation
technique to drag me to the patio behind the Central Fire Station in
Villa Clara," he says. The opponent said that after being transferred to
the Provincial Criminal Investigation Unit in Villa Clara, they left him
"handcuffed and exposed to the sun" and officials from the Special
Brigade continued to beat him. "They told that this was the rigor that
they would apply if I went out into the street again, better I dedicate
myself to writing, because they would kill me," he says.
Fariñas also wrote a letter to Raul Castro, in which he says he was
"tortured while handcuffed by members of the Special Brigade of the
Ministry of the Interior in the province of Santa Clara." In the
missive, he emphasizes that his phenomenon forms a part of the "wave of
abuses, terror and violence," that he has unleashed against "the
non-violent opposition, which civilly faces totalitarianism."
Fariñas has undertaken many hunger strikes. In 2010 he received the
European Parliament's Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought after 135
day strike in protest against the death of Orlando Zapata Tamayo and in
a demand for better condition for 26 of the 75 prisoners of the 2003
Black Spring, who were suffering serious health problems. Finally, this
strike and its media impact were decisive in the beginning of the
process of negotiations that ended with the release of the 75 detained
since March of 2013.
Source: Fariñas Begins Hunger And Thirst Strike To Demand Dialogue With
The Government / 14ymedio – Translating Cuba -