With latest hunger strike, Antunez challenges the world to take a stand for Cuban freedom
February 11, 2014
With latest hunger strike, Antunez challenges the world to take a stand
for Cuban freedom
Cuban activist Jorge Luis Perez Garcia, or “Antunez.” one of the most
eloquent and forceful leaders of the opposition, is much more valuable
to Cuba alive than as another martyr in the struggle versus communism.
So it was alarming to hear that he on Monday started a hunger and thirst
strike to protest last week’s attack on his home, and his subsequent
arrest and siege, by a Castro goon squad.
The Castro dictatorship is usually not impressed by protests like
Antunez’s, so that it may end with his death is a very real concern.
Antunez said he started his hunger and thirst strike — a combination
that could hasten his death — to protest the siege that the political
police have laid around his home in Placetas; and to demand the return
of items stolen from his home after he was arrested Feb. 5.
Protest by suicide is still suicide. That’s a moral challenge for those
of us who support Antunez in his struggle against the regime but also
believe it would be wrong for him to die from his own hand and wish he
had not started a hunger and thirst strike against a regime whose
instinct is to let him die. The risk is too high for a man vital to the
ongoing struggle for freedom in Cuba.
Those who would question Antunez’s tactics, and maybe even his motives
– he would die while demanding the return of material goods? — need to
remember one thing: In Cuba, those who oppose the regime have very
little to fight back against injustice with other than their very lives.
Antunez’s protest is not only a challenge to Castro, it is a challenge
to the world.
Previous hunger strikes against the Castro regime that succeeded in
forcing movement by the regime — most notably, Guillermo Farinas’
protest in 2010 after the death of Orlando Zapata that preceded a
Cuba-Spain-Vatican agreement to release dozens of political prisoners —
were those protests that were accompanied by international attention and
We again are being challenged, not to join with Antunez with our own
hunger strikes, but to raise our voices, to take to our keyboards, to
demand the Castro regime listen and respond to Antunez’s call for
justice, and the Cuban people’s demands for freedom. Whether we believe
hunger strikes are morally correct or not, we must stand with Antunez so
he, and a dictatorship that wishes desperately he were dead, knows that
he is not alone.
That kind of support and pressure could force the regime to act.
And it could save Antunez’s life.
Source: Uncommon Sense: With latest hunger strike, Antunez challenges
the world to take a stand for Cuban freedom –