Monday, January 16, 2006

The Lesson of Hunger

I cannot imagine going 9 days without food, can you? I've never been able to fast, not even in high holidays such as Viernes Santo. I get a very bad migraine, get very tired, and sleep like I'm never waking up. And this would be my savior, Jesus, who we are talking about; I would be fasting for spiritual healing and closeness to God. Those are two very big things, for a good Cuban-American Catholic like myself. Jesus went 40 days, and I can't even go one. Jesus went for all of us, even gave up his life, and I still cannot even give a 24 hour period. 24 hours in a day, times 9, that's 216 hours - more than a months work at 40hrs/week. Can you imagine that at least? Getting through your 8hr workday with no food at all?

Now imagine going these 216 hours without food, on a hunger strike, for a cause. For people you do not know, and might never even meet. For people who might not know you exist, who quite possibly will not even thank you for what you are doing. But you do it anyway, for principle, because you believe in it. 9 days, 216 hours without food. Would you do that for someone else? Would you do that for a policy you believe is wrong? Do we all as a community have the dedication to go on a collective hunger strike? Well Ramon Sanchez is doing just that, 9 days, 216 hours and counting, to denounce his disgust towards the pies mojados/pies secos policy that caused 15 balseros to be repatriated because the pilings of the bridge where not considered "American soil" even though their feet were dry.

This man is putting his life at risk for his beliefs (go over to KillCastro to read Sanchez's express DNR), at least for the opportunity to be heard. Babalu has campaign going so that we all write the president, senator and congressmen on this. Ziva at Blog for Cuba, has a similar campaign addressing the media for their lack of coverage. And lack of coverage it is. Today as I went into my feed there were a number of news about the damn baseball team (sorry, but by now este asunto me esta empezando a sacar de tiempo), about the Stooge Fidel and his new train set courtesy of China (who reportedly is already worried about collecting payment), about the Cardinal in Venezuela who chose Mass as a political platform (I agree with him completely, I just don't believe el sermon is the place to do this)......but very few if anything regarding the balseros and Ramon Sanchez. The only thing I found was an editorial on the Palm Beach Post (which CB at KillCastro has).

I do not know this man, don't even remember him from the Elian days. He's been called a clown, a media opportunist anything but humane. Now as KillCastro shows, he has written his express willingness to die unless someone in the government wants to meet. And I ask you again, can you go 9 days, 216 hours without eating to help people whom you do not know?