Thursday, March 16, 2006

Guillermo Fariñas in grave danger

The next few hours are critical for the survival of Guillermo Fariñas who yesterday was reported to be in critical condition.

Currently in the ICU unit of the ''Arnaldo Milián Castro'' hospital in Santa Clara he is under constant medical observation; he is exhibiting seizures and loss of feeling in his legs. Yet he is not giving up his hunger strike saying:

"With this hunger strike I debunk the lies and accusations of those who oppress us in our own land, calling us 'mercenaries' at the service of a foreign nation. We are determined to give even our lives for our ideals" (Read his letter in Spanish)
To refresh your memory, this 41-year old Cuban psychologist and director of the independent press agency Cubanacán Press in Cuba, is on a hunger strike to gain Internet access so he can continue performing his profession as an Independent Journalist. The government denied him access after he granted a phone interview to The Miami Herald denouncing attacks on dissidents.

This weekend his case will be presented at the bi-annual meeting of the Interamerican Press Society, which holds their session this weekend at Quito, Ecuador.

Fariñas hunger strike goes beyond his own need to freely access Internet for his work, it is seeded in the fact that the Cuban population cannot freely access the internet even if they pay in convertible currency. You see, freely accessing the Internet in Cuba is another privilege destined for tourists or foreigners, scientific institutions, educational centers and of course the government...but not for the locals; not for the average Cuban residing in Cuba.

On top of that, as in China, the government censures and limits what Cubans can access through the Internet, disguising their censorship - blocking websites with opinions that differ from the official policy of the Cuban regime - as their right to defend national sovereignty. Excuse me? Gee, then I guess that most of the countries in this world do not defend their national sovereignty.

Do Cuba and China know something that we don't? Yes they do. They know that you can keep a population under control with oppression and lack of information; if you become their only source of information they can never know your lies, your oppression, your heinous nature.

Yet, this man, Guillermo Fariñas, who has been starving himself for 45 days, has not listened to his colleagues and other leaders of the opposition that have called on him to stop this hunger strike; this protest which he is willing to take to "the ultimate consequences" - meaning he is willing to die for his cause. Are you?

Where are the Human Rights activists denouncing the fact that the Cuban government will allow this man to die? Where are all the hypocrites that denounce the alleged human rights violations in Gitmo, that go to Cuba to protest in front of Gitmo, hypocrites such as Reveren Jesse Jackson and Danny Glover? Where is the MSM coverage on this? Only Reuters has picked up the story, together with few local newspapers.

Where is the Army of Davids on this, the right to access the Internet? We, the bloggers in the US, are currently fighting for the right to be able to say what we want on the Internet while this man is dying for his inalienable right to freely access the Internet - yet most of us look the other way. In these past 45 days only Pajamas Media (who picked up my first post on this story), and a handful of mostly Cuban blogger have reported on this story.

Why? Why the silence?

Read the whole story in El Nuevo Herald, in Spanish. Please let's all pray for this man's life.

Previous Posts:
Guillermo Fariñas - My Personal Cause
Save Fariñas!
Hunger Strike for Internet Freedom - Update on Fariñas
Hunger Strike for Internet Freedom - Update
Hunger Strike for Internet Freedom Continues
Fariñas Still on Hunger Strike
unger Strike for Internet Freedom

Related Links:
Hunger strike continues
Guillermo Fariñas Update
Guillermo Fariñas Update 2
Are you ready for this?

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