Hunger strike in Cuba
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    Guillermo Fariñas abandons his hunger strike

    Guillermo Fariñas abandons his hunger strike
    DDC | La Habana | 14 de Septiembre de 2016 – 06:49 CEST.

    On Monday dissenter Guillermo Fariñas decided to abandon a hunger strike
    he had been on for 54 days to demand that Raúl Castro desist from his
    persecution of protestors on the Island. His spokesman, Jorge Luis
    Artiles Montiel, confirmed the development for DIARIO DE CUBA.

    The decision was made after a meeting of the organization headed by
    Fariñas: the Foro Antitotalitario Unido (FANTU), which initially had
    reported that Fariñas had decided to abandon his strike because he had
    been appointed an adviser to the European Parliament.

    Hours later his spokesman clarified that the reason for the stop to the
    strike was actually a slated trip by the dissident to Europe in the
    coming months to educate MEPs about the human rights situation in Cuba.

    “We spent two hours trying to convince him, along with his family, to
    quit the strike,” said Artiles. The spokesman celebrated the fact that
    “after a 54-day odyssey,” the protestor “is alive, thank God.”

    “He, taking into account our demands, and those of all the anti-Castro
    organizations made up of exiles, and the various opposition groups and
    organizations in Cuba, who have supported this protest unconditionally,
    finally agreed,” explained a statement released by FANTU.

    “At this time he will begin to hydrate, as dictated by our
    organization’s statutes,” the statement reads.

    Alleged amendment

    Hours before the winner of the Sakharov Prize abandoned the strike a
    website purportedly belonging to the European Parliament (EP)
    Information Office in Spain issued a statement on the alleged approval
    of an amendment named for Farinas that would make EU policy towards Cuba
    contingent upon the regime’s response to demands like those made by the
    dissident.

    According to the AP, however, the EU representative on the Island could
    not confirm the existence of said amendment, or any vote on Monday in
    the EP plenary on this issue.

    “What it is, I don’t exactly know,” said the advising minister of the
    European Community in Cuba, Alain Bothorel, who heads up the diplomatic
    delegation. “I find it a bit strange that it would be an amendment.”

    The Cuban American National Foundation (CANF), meanwhile, reported that
    the news of the alleged amendment is “false.”

    “The purported press release contended that the amendment was annexed to
    the “Regulations of the commercial strategy of the European Union with
    the countries of the African bloc” report, and illegitimately describes
    details of the discussions regarding the G. Farinas Amendment, which has
    not yet been debated,” said the CANF.

    “Sources consulted by the Cuban American National Foundation in the
    European Parliament confirm for us that the information is fraudulent
    and that the blog that has spread the news about the G. Farinas
    Amendment days ago was not issued by the European Parliament’s
    Information Office in Spain, such that the EP is considering taking
    action in this regard,” it added.

    DIARIO DE CUBA contacted the EP’s Information Office in Spain, where a
    press official confirmed that the page publishing the news about a
    supposed approval of the amendment “is false.”

    “This event can only be related to the discretization campaign being
    carried out by the Cuban Government against the dissident, as part of
    its efforts to misinform the Cuban people and the international
    community,” warned the CANF.

    Reactions to the end of Fariñas’s strike

    After the announcement that Fariñas’s strike was over, Alicia Fariñas,
    the dissident’s daughter, who on Friday backed a campaign for her father
    on the social networks, thanked the people who “helped him, and those
    who criticized him too.”

    On her Facebook page the dissident’s daughter wrote: “As I’ve always
    said, what does not kill us makes us stronger. We can say that we did
    it. He’ll be around for a while. God is good and knows that men like him
    cannot die. Today I was reborn.”

    Meanwhile, the activist Rosa María Payá stated that knowing that
    Fariñas’s hunger strike has ended is a “relief,” and that his feat has
    shown that the Cuban Government “has no respect for the lives of its
    citizens,” reports the EFE .

    “Fariñas and the other strikers are worth more alive for the future of
    Cuba,” said Payá, of the “Cuba Decides” movement, after the news came out.

    “His demands are very fair and very clear,” said Payá, who urged the
    Cuban Government to understand that civil society is an “interlocutor”
    and “even more legitimate than those who have not been elected,” he said.

    Ramón Saúl Sánchez, with the “Movimiento Democracia,” was glad that the
    winner of the 2010 Sakharov Prize put an end to a protest that placed
    his life in danger.

    Sánchez said that although the Cuban Government, due to its “arrogance,”
    has not responded to Fariñas’s demands, the FANTU leader’s hunger strike
    has resonated internationally and “generated awareness of repression in
    Cuba.”

    Source: Guillermo Fariñas abandons his hunger strike | Diario de Cuba –
    www.diariodecuba.com/derechos-humanos/1473828583_25298.html

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