First some background about Guillermo Fariñas. He is a 48 years old mestizo (mix race), married and father of daughter, that used to believe in Fidel Castro’s revolution. He risked his live fighting in Angola during the 1980s. He was a militant of the Union of Young Communists and member of Castro’s elite troops, but in 1989 when General Arnaldo Ochoa was shot, accused of drug trafficking, Fariñas began to have second thoughts.Cuban hunger striker says he is near death
Cuban hunger striker says he is near death | Top News | Reuters
Mon Jul 5, 2010 8:17pm EDT
By Jeff Franks
HAVANA (Reuters) - Cuban hunger striker Guillermo Farinas said in a statement posted on the Internet on Monday that he is near death and that Fidel and Raul Castro will be to blame if he dies.
His comments followed a report in the Communist Party newspaper Granma on Saturday that Farinas, who has refused to eat for 131 days, was in danger of dying from a blood clot in his neck and that further medical treatment may be difficult.
"I am conscious of my nearing death and I consider it an honor because I am trying to save the lives of 25 political prisoners and (prisoners) of conscience that the homeland needs as leaders," said Farinas.
The 48-year-old psychologist is demanding the release of 25 jailed government opponents said to be in poor health.
His case is the latest dissident protest in Cuba to capture international attention. The February 23 death of another hunger striker, Orlando Zapata Tamayo, drew condemnation from the United States and Europe.
Fariñas has a degree in psychology and performed as a teacher, joining the dissident movement in 1997, and became an independent journalist. He said: “I am a firm believer that when the government sees that the result of the hunger strikes is dissidents dying like flies; they will sit down and negotiate. These strikes are our weapons of pressure, we have nothing else.”
The probability of Fariñas’ death is practically certain, but his sacrifice will not be in vain. A great number of people in the world by now know about him and are aware of his cause. His hunger strike has forced the dictatorship to recognize that the incarceration of a large number of political prisoners is no longer feasible.