Hunger strike in Cuba
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    Cuban hunger striker in hospital after passing out

    Posted on Friday, 03.12.10
    Cuban hunger striker in after passing out
    Associated Press Writer

    HAVANA — A Cuban hunger striker was receiving fluids and medical care
    in a government hospital Friday, a day after passing out at home, and
    has refused requests by other dissidents and religious leaders to
    abandon his protest.

    Guillermo Farinas was taken to a hospital in the central Cuban city of
    Santa Clara on Thursday. It was the second time he has lost
    consciousness – and received fluids and nutrients intravenously – since
    launching his hunger strike on Feb. 24.

    "He is in stable condition. They are hydrating him and giving him
    medicine," spokeswoman Licet Zamora told The Associated Press.

    Zamora said well-known Cuban Yoani Sanchez; her husband,
    Reinaldo Escobar; and others visited Farinas at the hospital Thursday,
    on a mission to persuade him to give up the protest. They were unable to
    see him because he was in intensive care. Roman Catholic leaders have
    also called on him to abandon his strike, but Farinas has refused.

    Ismeli Iglesias, a doctor who is helping treat Farinas, said
    that the hospital's intervention meant his life was no longer in danger.
    But Iglesias warned that Farinas' immune system was weak and
    complications could emerge. He said Farinas could survive for months if
    his family continues to take him to the hospital each time he loses

    Farinas is demanding the release of 26 ailing political prisoners. The
    government has said it would not give in to "pressure or blackmail." It
    has placed responsibility for Farinas' life squarely in the hands of
    foreign diplomats and the international news media, which it says is
    manipulating him as part of a campaign against Cuba's communist government.

    Cuba considers the dissidents to be common criminals paid by Washington
    to undermine the government.

    On Thursday, the European Parliament condemned Cuba for what it called
    the "avoidable and cruel" death of another dissident hunger striker,
    Orlando Tamayo, who died Feb. 23 after an 83-day hunger strike.
    The European assembly said it was also alarmed by Farinas' case, and
    called on Cuba to ensure his safety.

    Cuba's own parliament denounced the decision, decrying it on Thursday
    as hypocritical and offensive, and insisting it was made after a
    "sullied debate."

    Cuba kept up the angry rhetoric on Friday, with a long article in the
    Communist Party daily Granma titled: "European Parliament allies itself
    with the Anti-Cuban campaign."

    The article accuses Europe of colonialism, and says the resolution –
    passed by a 509-30 vote – was orchestrated by reactionary right-wing
    parties. It said the vote was part of a long and nefarious campaign
    against Cuba.

    "It is a shame that such an institution dedicates itself to articulating
    conspiracies and propping up mercenaries and criminals," the article
    said. "It would be funny if it were not so offensive to our country."
    Editor's Note: Associated Press Writer Andrea Rodriguez contributed to
    this report.

    Cuban hunger striker in hospital after passing out – Florida AP – (12 March 2010)

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