Believe it - Fariñas entering his FIFTH month of Hunger StrikeLittle has been said or heard about Guillermo Fariñas recently - the independent journalist who went on a hunger strike in order to gain access to the Internet. The very same Internet in which I post this and you are reading it. After he was interviewed by the foreign press about repression in Cuba, the government blocked his, and many other independent journalists' access to the Internet.
His hunger strike started January 31st and defying nature, is still going on. Caribbean Net News has the following story which reports Fariñas not only still in his hunger strike, but also appealing to the newly created Human Rights Council of the UN. ¡Ya No Más! has an audio report from Cubanacán's Press Niurvys Díaz Remón. Uncommon Sense has more.
Cuban dissident to complete fourth month on hunger strike Wednesday, May 31, 2006 by Isabel Sanchez
HAVANA, Cuba (AFP): Frail and fed through an intravenous tube, hunger-striking Cuban dissident journalist Guillermo Fariñas finishes a fourth month Wednesday defying communist authorities and demanding Internet access even to his death, relatives and dissidents say.
The 42-year-old journalist and opponent of President Fidel Castro's rule is in hospital in the central province of Villa Clara where he is rejecting solids and liquids, sustained only by an IV solution, they said. Over four months his weight has plunged from 78 to almost 50 kilos (172 to 110 pounds), they added.
Fariñas has said he wants to use the Internet to report on the 300 or so political prisoners in Cuba, as well as government repression of dissidents. "We are going to have bad news at any time; he is in critical condition. This man could die. The government is being rigid, and it has his life in its hands," Elizardo Sanchez, president of the outlawed Cuban Committee for Human Rights and National Reconciliation, told AFP.
Relatives and dissident sources say Fariñas' digestive system has sustained serious damage and that he has had blood in his thorax and around his lungs. "He really started the hunger strike over his own case, but now he wants free access to the Internet for all Cubans, not just for him," said Sanchez. "It is a price too dear for this government which is not going to give in, because it sees the Web as a danger and a threat."
Economist Oscar Espinoza, one of the more than 70 dissidents rounded up in a 2004 crackdown, and later released due to his health problems, said the Internet was a "formidable enemy of the government. "I doubt it is going to give into (Fariñas') demand," Espinoza said. In the letter from Fariñas, released by dissidents on Thursday, Fariñas pleaded with the new United Nations human rights council to sanction Cuba for denying Cubans the right to communicate and seek information freely.
"I demand that the Castro government install Internet in my home to set a precedent, as all Cubans want to communicate freely with the civilized and democratic world," wrote Fariñas.
Dissident sources say this strike was his 20th protest hunger strike. The government maintains that limited Internet access is a result of the US economic embargo on the island that prohibits the use of underwater telecom cables just off the coast. It also cites the high cost of Internet service hookups. Havana describes Cuban dissidents as US-funded mercenaries.
Ahhh, the dissidents that don't exist; just US Funded mercenaries. I wonder what would happen in the US if tomorrow Bush started saying his opponents or detractors don't exist, that they are just foreign funded mercenaries.
la ventanita at Wall Street Café