Cuban Dissidents on Hunger Strike

Fernando Ravsberg  

HAVANA TIMES — A dozen of Cuban political dissidents, headed by the economist Marta Beatriz Roque, declared themselves on a hunger strike starting today.

They are demanding the Cuban government respect national laws regarding the treatment of members of the political opposition.

Roque explained that they are demanding the release of a political prisoner in Villa Clara Province whose sentence was completed yesterday, the restitution of the belongings of a family from the eastern city of Palm Soriano, and an investigation into a fire at the home of a couple of political opposition figures in Havana.

Among the strikers are seven former political prisoners and five opponents who are on probation.

The most dangerous situation is that of Marta Beatriz’s, since she suffers from diabetes and could go into a crisis within only 48 hours after initiating the strike.

Nonetheless, the 63 year-old opposition leader requested that she be given neither medical care nor intravenous feeding. She assured that the strike would continue until the “ultimate consequences” and that the participants are willing to die if the government doesn’t respond to their demands.

Marta Beatriz Roque was a professor at the University of Havana and has been an activist among the ranks of the opposition since 1989, having been in the leadership of several groups. For those activities she was convicted and imprisoned on two occasions for a total of five years. Presently she is free under a court order granted to her for health reasons.



3 thoughts on “Cuban Dissidents on Hunger Strike

  • Time to take another look at that Wikileaks cable, with a subject line: CUBA: TWO PATHS TO REGIME CHANGE, that ‘Richard Cheeseman’ posted the link to in his comment in the HT article, “US Democratic Party Pays Homage to Cuban Dissident”.

    ‘Richard’ highlighted the reference to Paya being in the pay of the US government, with the US official writing in his cable, “Paya, who gets his cash quietly from NDI, thank you.” The National Democratic Instiute of course being a funnel for US money to groups whose government the US wants to overthrow.

    The cable also deals with the relationship between Martha Beatriz Roque, who it refers to as “MBR”, and the US government. Both Paya and Roque “see a U.S. role in regime change” according to the cable

    It is not possible to retain your political virginity or character by getting in bed with the US Empire, as well as the Cuban-American Mafia in Miami, as the cable vividly documents.

    Not surprisingly, ‘Moses’ asks God to ” bless, keep and strengthen” her, confusing the roles of whores and saints, failing to note the US is already doing the same unless ‘Moses’ has confused the US with God as well. Not uncommon with Americans. The rest of the world is quickly coming to think that the US and God symbolically occupy entirely different regions – polar opposites so to speak

    For the record, this the evidence in the cable that illustrates the nature of the US ‘bed partner’:

    “Both MBR and Paya believe the USG (US Government) is on the right side of the coming transition, and are satisfied with public statements by the [US] President, the Secretary and others regarding the inevitability of change, the illegitimacy of a Castro-brother succession, and the responsibility of Cubans themselves to lead the transition.

    “Operationally, MBR wants USG support in the form of continued public exhortations for democracy and release of political prisoners, and also cash.

    “For example, she said her last trip to Villa Clara cost her 250 dollars to hire a car and driver. Renting a car would have cost half as much but ordinary Cubans are not allowed to rent cars. Multiply times the numbers of Cubans to be mobilized in any given demonstration, calculate bus and taxi fares, plus food, and aid to dissidents’ families, and the costs add up.

    “She has told us frequently that her sources of cash from Miami have been both inconsistent and insufficient.”

  • Roque was arrested the same month along with 74 other dissidents in what some have called the “Black Spring” crackdown. On April 3, 2003, Roque was brought to trial and convicted in a one-day trial. PEN International reported that she and the other defendants were given insufficient time to prepare a case.[Roque was sentenced to 20 years in prison for “acts against the independence or territorial integrity of the state”. Amnesty International adopted her as a prisoner of conscience, and Roque’s sister Isabel was invited to meet with U.S. President George W. Bush in Washington, D.C. to discuss the case.

    YOUTUBE DOCUMENTARY: “La Primavera Negra de Cuba” The Cuban Black Spring- part #1 (English sub-titles)

  • May God bless, keep and strengthen these brave souls through this ordeal.

Comments are closed.