Hunger strike in Cuba
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August 2016
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    What Everyone Should Avoid

    What Everyone Should Avoid / 14ymedio, Jose Daniel Ferrer

    14ymedio, Jose Daniel Ferrer, Miami, 6 August 2016 — We live in complex
    times. The world is full of problems, some more serious than others. We
    live in the twenty-first century of the Christian Era, with some
    surrounded by comfort and wonderful technologies and others living like
    poor serfs of the Middle Ages. We live in a world where millions of
    people enjoy all their rights and freedoms, other millions only enjoy
    certain rights and freedoms, and many millions suffer under regimes that
    violate all or almost all their rights and freedoms. We live in a world
    where there are very noble, humanitarian and sweet people, and others
    who are criminals and madmen like those of ISIS, or the regimes of the
    Castros and North Korea.

    We live in a world where many citizens of the first powers of the free
    world, and luckily the planet, say they never thought to reach a
    presidential election with two candidates as controversial. Others
    believe they have magnificent aspirants for the Oval Office who will
    represent them well inside and outside the country’s borders. We live in
    a world where a pope praises a Stalinist like Fidel Castro and a Cuban
    Bishop says he wants “socialism to prosper” in a nation where we have
    the worst capitalism, which is bad capitalism, that of a family and
    generals, who own everything and everyone. We live in a world where
    other bishops and pastors do not forget that Christ was persecuted and
    died on the cross and that evil is confronted with dignity and courage.

    We live in a very complex world and the free press confirms it for us
    every day. And in the midst of so many complexities, we Cubans have our
    own. Some of the worst of any people living on the planet. We live under
    a regime comparable only to that of Stalin and North Korea, a comparison
    annoys the cynics and cowardly agents of the Castro regime and the
    Castros themselves. Our people live without rights and in the deepest
    misery. Thousands escape risking their lives in search of freedom and
    opportunity in other lands. And worse, against all logic, while the
    Unites States, the European Union and others, strive to help Cuba out of
    the sorry state the Castro regime has plunged it into, Raul Castro does
    the exact opposite of what at certain times he faked that he was willing
    to do.

    To the extent that the US and the European Union show more generosity to
    the Castro regime, this regime repressed more, beats its opponents more,
    imprisons them more, tortures more and assaults and steals more from
    peaceful opponents, those fighting for the democratization of country
    and respect for human rights.

    With increased its repressive actions, knowing the commitment of the
    European Union and the United States to human rights, the regime not
    only hurts its people more every day, it also mocks the powers of the
    free world, which creates a negative image of weakness and/or
    insensitivity before the excesses of a dictatorship.

    At a time when, instead of advancing economic openness, the Castro
    regime prefers to harass, excessively control and exploit those who try
    to get ahead as entrepreneurs; at a time when instead of demonstrating
    greater respect for the people’s feelings and their fundamental rights,
    and respect for their foreign partners, the Castro dictatorship attacks
    with greater force the opposition movement, Guillermo Farinas, Carlos
    Amel Oliva Torres and other members of the Patriotic Union of Cuba
    (UNPACU) engaged in a long and very dangerous hunger strike with the aim
    of calling attention to the excesses of the Castro regime and seeking to
    put limits on their infamous behavior.

    To the extent that the US and the European Union show more generosity to
    the Castro regime, this regime repressed more, beats its opponents more,
    imprisons them more, tortures more and assaults and steals more from
    peaceful opponents, those fighting for the democratization of country

    We all need to prevent these brave and selfless Cubans from losing their
    lives. We need those who love them and admire them, they need good
    people, they need the churches called to act as Good Samaritans, they
    need the governments of the United States and the European Union in
    dialogue with the Castro regime, and above all, Raul Castro, who has
    already caused too much damage, and in times in which we are living does
    find it in his interest to take the steps that can end it in a way that
    is comfortable for him and his family, rather than in way that results
    in international tribunals and conditions like those in which the
    Serbian dictator Slobodan Milosevic ended up.

    Those who love and admire the hunger strikers have been making strenuous
    efforts to convince them to suspend their hunger and thirst
    strikes. They, with too many reasons in their favor and with principles
    and an honor very rare in our times, refuse to end their strikes without
    seeing some positive demonstration from the Castro regime. The strikers
    only ask that the regime complies with its own laws. Or do the laws of
    the regime authorize beating, assaulting and robbing peaceful citizens
    who have committed no crime? We remember the brutal and constant
    beatings against activists handcuffed behind the back, the torture and
    the theft even of food and our children’s books.

    For our request to the strikers to stop their hunger and thirst strikes,
    it would be a great help to have the support of the Catholic Church, the
    US government and the European Union, through authorized officials who
    could communicate with whose who risk their lives for a just cause and
    who would express their concern for their lives and tell them about the
    efforts, which undoubtedly must be made before the Castro regime, to put
    an end to, or moderate, their uncivilized behaviors.

    The US government and representatives of the European Union have already
    expressed concern for the lives of the strikers, and other prominent
    politicians and personalities have also done so. To them we are all are
    very grateful. The days pass, the dictatorship does not give the
    slightest sign of willingness to act and the lives of these worthy
    Cubans fades slowly. Let us join efforts to convince them to lay down
    their strikes and to pressure the regime to moderate its despicable
    behavior. The death of more Cubans on hunger strike for just demands, is
    what we should all avoid.

    The author is coordinator of the Patriotic Union of Cuba, UNPACU.

    Source: What Everyone Should Avoid / 14ymedio, Jose Daniel Ferrer –
    Translating Cuba –

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