Coco Farinas Lost Consciousness Again
Coco Farinas Lost Consciousness Again / Lilianne Ruíz
Lilianne Ruiz, 19 August 2106 — Guillermo “Coco” Fariñas had to be taken
to the hospital again yesterday, at 4:40 in the afternoon The photo at
the top of this post was taken several weeks ago but it shows how FANTU
activists take him to the hospital.
As stipulated in the World Medical Association’s Declaration of Malta on
Hunger Strikers, he was intravenously hydrated with saline solution. I
want to clarify I am citing the Declaration of Malta because of one of
the attacks of the regime’s trolls in the virtual forums that arise
these days, it is a fact that Coco could not receive saline solution in
a state hospital.
It is obvious that all the hospitals and polyclinics in Cuba are state
owned, and that is one of the fatalities that many of us want to change,
not only to improve the quality of medical services and make them
accessible to everyone without discrimination, but also to put an end to
this technology of Power that Foucault aptly defined as “Biopower,” and
that allows the Cuban government to minutely control the population with
disciplinary and regulatory effects.
In the Cuban context we must take into account the lack of a civic
culture that affects even doctors and nurses in the healthcare system.
According to the World Medical Association Declaration, “Physicians
attending hunger strikers can experience a conflict between their
loyalty to the employing authority (such as prison management) and their
loyalty to patients. Physicians with dual loyalties are bound by the
same ethical principles as other physicians, that is to say that their
primary obligation is to the individual patient.”
We have to think of Cuba as a prison, a concentration camp, a decrepit
experiment that all Cubans want to sweep away; but fear of reprisals
makes them powerless to make political decisions; but it is not the case
in homes, whose walls at least reflect the echoes of the protest. So
when talking about state violence we have to include the coercion and
the permanent propaganda in the media, which are a state monopoly. This
is how totalitarianism works: it is made up of a network of
anti-democratic institutions that make up the malignant machinery.
On another point, while writing this post I managed to talk to Coco in
Tuesday, by phone. He could barely talk, it’s more exact to say that I
managed let him hear me for a few minutes, to express all my support and
However, I also told him that I will give thanks to God when he is back
on his feet to continue fighting for freedom, for political freedom,
like fundamental human rights, which we Cubans lack.
I compare this feat of Coco’s to swimming across the Atlantic, with the
legitimate purpose of disarming a criminal government, before the
incredulous eyes of the major stakeholders. Because, I believe that not
only Cubans but the civilized world desire that Coco, or any opposition
action in this non-violent struggle for freedom and democracy in Cuba,
manages to disarm the so-called Cuban government, like a criminal who
puts the social order in danger is disarmed in the dreamed-of Rule of Law.
As, in fact, Coco puts his life and danger and it seems a mission
impossible, the only thing we, his friends, family and activists (along
with every person of goodwill in the world who knows about this
situation) can do is to offer our support both because his demands are
our demands, the demands of the entire Cuban people, and because
preserving his life means that his struggle can be much longer. But in
any case, keeping in mind in every moment what is happening in Cuba. I
believe that saving him from death and the suffering of a hunger and
thirst strike is a moral imperative, to be with him, to support him, to
make his struggle visible by every means possible.
So, it is as if we make up a rescue team and we must do it to accompany
this whole journey of Coco’s, approaching death for bringing us the
incredible gift of limiting a repressive government that could be
disarmed and deactivated in all its power that day by day is only negative.
Last but not least: I want to denounce the fact that the political
police again seem to be plotting a smear campaign against Fariñas’
hunger and thirst strike, diverting the phone calls that we activist make.
The Telecommunications Company (ETECSA) is also a state monopoly and is
controlled by the military caste.
Last weekend, August 13 and 14, it seemed that all calls in question on
many occasions were diverted to a State Security command center where at
least two women, clearly officials, passing themselves off as activists,
provided false information about the strike, trying to make people
believe that it had been ended without prior declaration.
I fund it very strange, and as a precaution didn’t respond to any absurd
comment. Especially strange to me was the farewell message of the
supposed activist for its bureaucratic language, the sepulchral silence
of the atmosphere on the other side of the line and the insistence that
the friend we call “Bebo” — an activist and spokesperson for the strike,
whose voice I know — could not come to the phone.
Now that is is confirmed by the experience of many people who also
called that it was a police command post and not the house in Santa
Clara, I remember the words of a dear friend who always tells me that in
addition to all the political arguments against socialism, people with
common sense reject if for the massive lack of style it projects.
In particular, what saved me from being taken in by the trick was my
full confidence in Coco Fariñas as an activist. I remember the words of
Gandhi, always opportune in situations like this: “Power
first ignores you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you,
then you win.”
Source: Coco Farinas Lost Consciousness Again / Lilianne Ruíz –
Translating Cuba –