Hunger strike in Cuba
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    Cuban-Americans call off protests against Bahamas

    Posted on Monday, 08.12.13

    Cuban-Americans call off protests against Bahamas
    THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

    MIAMI — Cuban-American activists in South Florida ended a hunger strike
    and series of protests Monday over the alleged mistreatment of Cubans
    detained in the Bahamas.

    The Bahamian government’s announcement that it would conduct a formal
    investigation into the allegations coupled with a decision by Panama to
    grant asylum to 19 of 43 detained Cubans means the protest achieved its
    goals, said Ramon Saul Sanchez, a leader of a Cuban-American activist group.

    “This is a victory for human dignity,” he said.

    The group’s noisy protests outside the Bahamian consulate and near the
    cruise ship port in Miami, as well as calls for a tourism boycott,
    angered Bahamian officials, who denied any mistreatment of migrants and
    had said an investigation was unnecessary.

    Late last week, however, the government issued a statement saying it
    would conduct a formal investigation into the allegations raised by the
    demonstrators, which included claims that migrants at the Carmichael
    Road Detention Center had been beaten by guards, denied access to
    adequate food and medical care and prevented from making asylum claims.

    “We will review the report and act accordingly, and take any punitive or
    disciplinary action as deemed necessary,” the statement from the
    Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

    The Bahamas also agreed to allow a U.S. official to visit the Carmichael
    Road Detention Center, which has been criticized by governmental
    agencies and human rights groups for years for overcrowding and other
    problems.

    In announcing the end of their protest, Sanchez and fellow activist
    Jesus Alexis Gomez ate soup to end a hunger strike in support of the
    detained Cubans.

    The Bahamas has become a transit point for migrants, mostly from Cuba
    and Haiti, who try to reach the nearby United States, often with the aid
    of smugglers.

    Source: “MIAMI: Cuban-Americans call off protests against Bahamas –
    Nation Wires – MiamiHerald.com” –
    http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/08/12/3558377/cuban-americans-call-off-protests.html

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