Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Hunger Strike for Internet - Update

UPDATE: Hallelujah!
Guillermo Fariñas starts to get some attention from the international community.

Doing double reporting again, also please read my post at Babalú.

Australia's Channel 9, picked up the Reuters feed.
Reuters picked up the Fariñas story. Read it here.

Cuban on hunger strike for Internet access

A Cuban dissident who has been on a hunger strike for 36 days to demand unfettered Internet access is refusing medication and his health is deteriorating rapidly, fellow dissidents said on Wednesday.

Cuba, like China, controls access to the Internet. Direct access to the World Wide Web is generally only available to government-approved individuals, but passwords can be purchased on the black market.

The postal service offers an e-mail service, but users can only surf Cuban Web sites. International Web sites run by exile groups are routinely blocked by Cuba's state-run servers.
Original Post:
EFE News:

Dissidents worried about Cuban hunger striker's health

Havana, Mar 8 (EFE).- Cuban dissidents on Wednesday expressed concern over the deteriorating health of independent journalist Guillermo Fariñas, who has been on a hunger strike for more than a month. - those of us following this story for the past 5 weeks are very concerned as well.

Oswaldo Paya, the highest-profile democracy advocate on the island, on Wednesday called on the Communist-ruled country's officials, Cuban society and the international community to help save Fariñas' life. - I hope this time they hear us. So far both the Government and the International Community (except for a few groups) have produced a deafening silence on this matter.

The journalist, a 43-year-old psychologist who heads the independent media outlet Cubanacan Press,
has been in intensive care at a hospital in central Cuba since Feb. 8 and is being fed intravenously. - but wait, isn't that an abuse of his civil rights? Wasn't the world outraged when Gitmo inmates were force fed? Wasn't the Cuban government the first to denounce force feeding as a Human Rights violation? Isn't this hypocrisy and double standard?

He said at the start of the protest that the purpose of the hunger strike was to demand Internet access that he and his colleagues need for their work. Police had denied him the service on Jan. 23. - imagine, all this man wants is access to the Internet so he can send emails; email his stories out to the foreign press. But of course, Cuban Law prohibits freedom of the press. As stated before, his access was blocked after he was interviewed by The Miami Herald.

"We're calling on the authorities to respond immediately to his demand and, in this way, respect his rights and save his life," Paya said in his statement, in which he urged the international community and the Cuban people to show solidarity with Fariñas. - YES! we call on everyone!!! Please help not only save this man's life, but also for INTERNET FREEDOM in Cuba. Imagine YOU had NO access to the Internet, how would you feel?

"Many of his friends and colleagues, we've talked to him repeatedly to persuade him to stop the hunger and thirst strike," but "his decision is firm and he is in grave danger of dying," Paya said.

Vladimiro Roca, of the dissident Todos Unidos organization, told EFE he visited Fariñas in the hospital on Sunday and said he was like "a skeleton," although "he's in good spirits and is completely conscious and without digressions of thought." "I spoke with him, I gave him (reasons to change his mind) and he promised me he wasn't going to take out the catheter" through which he was being fed, Roca said.

Niurvis Diaz, a colleague of Fariñas' at Cubanacan Press, said in a telephone conversation from Santa Clara that the journalist was in fragile health with a lot of drowsiness, severe headaches, pain in his joints and numbness in his legs. Diaz said, however, that doctors considered his condition stable and were providing him with saline solution, vitamins and medication to control the loss of liquids that causes his blood pressure to rise.

For her part, the wife of jailed dissident Hector Palacios, Gisela Delgado, on Wednesday divulged the contents of a letter addressed to Fidel Castro, Pope Benedict XVI and heads of "democratic governments" and international humanitarian organizations. It notified them of her husband's serious health problems. "I'm speaking out about the grave risk to my husband's life," Delgado said in the letter, which explains that Palacios has recently suffered a transient ischemic attack and currently is battling high blood pressure and poor circulation.

The 64-year-old Palacios was sentenced to 25 years in prison in the Spring of 2003, one of 75 dissidents to receive lengthy prison terms in summary trials.

Why will no one hear us? Where is the MSM? Why do I hear this deafening silence? Is this man's life and the access to the Internet not worth it?

Previous Posts:
Hunger Strike for Internet Freedom
Fariñas Still on Hunger Strike
Hunger Strike for Internet Freedom Continues
Hunger Strike for Internet Freedom - Update on Fariñas

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

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