HAVANA TIMES — Cuban state TV accused the dissident Martha Beatriz Roque of “faking” her recent eight-day hunger strike held to demand the release of an imprisoned opposition member, reported DPA on Tuesday night.
The broadcast accused the international media of spreading “lies” and the US government of instigating Roque’s “feigned hunger strike.”
The accusation was the first information given by the Cuban media on the hunger strike that supposedly involved 29 dissidents and began on September 10.
The strike ended on September 18, after Roque learned that the authorities had told the family of the prisoner, Jorge Vázquez Chaviano, that he would soon be released.
Cuban TV said as many as 13 of hunger strikers were fakers.
“The strategy of the hunger strikes was used by Martha Beatriz to attract international media attention,” said the state television, which showed alleged evidence of how the dissident secretly received food through a window of her home in Havana.
Roque, a 67-year-old economist, was previously jailed in the “Black Spring” round up of 75 dissidents in 2003.
Activists Orlando Zapata (2010) and Wilman Villar (2012) died in separate hunger strikes in recent years on the island. Also the opponent Guillermo Fariñas, the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize in 2010, has repeatedly resorted to hunger strikes in protests against the government, recalled DPA.