Cuban dissident urges political prisoner to cease hunger strike


The head of the Christian Liberation Movement, Oswaldo Paya, is urging political prisoner Guillermo Farinas to end his hunger strike, “because your struggle and life are extremely valuable and we don’t want to lose you.”

In a statement Paya asked, “What purpose does it serve to hold our position (for the freedom of Cuba) if someone’s life, in this case, that of a fighter like our brother Farinas, is lost?  He has given clear signs of his willingness to offer his life for the people of Cuba.”

Last week, Paya encouraged the efforts of human rights defenders and prisoners of conscience in the country, but asked that their demands be made without resorting to hunger strikes.

In this week's statement, the Christian Liberation Movement (CLM) leader called on Farinas to back down so he doesn't suffer the same fate as Orlando Zapata, who died at the end of February after a prolonged hunger strike.

Paya then recalled the struggle of the Cuban people and called for solidarity “with political prisoners.”

“To all Cubans and to all listening we say: They are dozens of men in prison for defending the rights of Cubans, for defending hope, like Farinas is doing now.  It is not a matter of defending concepts, but of defending him as a person,” Paya said.

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