Hunger strike in Cuba
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    Health of hunger-striking Cuban dissident worsens: mother

    of hunger-striking Cuban worsens: mother
    AFP – Monday, March 29

    HAVANA (AFP) – – Cuban dissident Guillermo Farinas, who has been on a
    full hunger strike for 28 days, has a staph infection and is in the
    early stages of a battle against septic shock that could kill him, his
    mother told AFP Sunday.

    Farinas is the second case of a recent strike by a political dissident
    in Cuba, the Americas' only one-party communist regime.

    The fate of dissidents has brought an international outcry from Europe
    and the as well as from groups.

    "My son is on the verge of a major complication that will put his life
    in danger. He is very unwell and could go into septic shock," said
    Farinas' mother Alicia Hernandez, 75, who is a nurse, from her home in
    Santa Clara 280 kilometers (168 miles) east of Havana.

    An independent news and psychologist by training, Farinas, 48,
    launched his fast the day after political Orlando died
    on the 85th day of his own hunger strike.

    Farinas has been protesting the treatment of 26 political prisoners
    needing medical attention in Cuba; he wants the prisoners freed.

    His mother, who does not back his strike or ideological stand, said
    doctors treating her son in the provincial in Santa Clara are
    trying to help him with antibiotics "but he is very frail, has pain in
    his arms and legs, and fever."

    "I am afraid he will not achieve a thing, but he is hanging in there,"
    she said.

    Meanwhile, wives and mothers of numerous political prisoners have held
    an unprecedented week of protest marches in Havana in defiance of the
    authorities to press for the release of the dissidents, some of whom
    have been held for seven years.

    Havana insists it keeps no political prisoners, branding the dissidents
    in jail as "mercenaries" in the pay of the United States.

    On Wednesday US President Barack Obama slammed Cuba for its continued
    political and human rights and called for an end to the
    Communist regime's "clenched fist" policy against its people.

    "I join my voice with brave individuals across Cuba and a growing chorus
    around the world in calling for an end to the repression, for the
    immediate, unconditional release of all political prisoners in Cuba, and
    for respect for the basic rights of the Cuban people," he added.

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