The First Sip of Water


After 134 days without solid food, or even a sip of liquid, Guillermo Fariñas lifted a red plastic cup to his lips and drank a little water. It was 2:15 in the afternoon on Thursday July 8, and from the other side of the glass in the intensive care ward where he was being treated, dozens of friends watching him burst into applause as if they had been witnesses to a miracle.

Fariñas had won one battle but still remains in a fierce war against death, because the land that has seen the action of this singular belligerency is his own body — ultimately the only space available to him to carry out this campaign. His intestines are now like fragile paper conduits distilling bacteria through their pores, his jugular vein is partially obstructed by a blood clot which, if it detached, could lodge in the heart, brain or lungs; or more precisely, in his heart, his brain or his lungs. He has suffered four staph infections and at night a sharp pain in his groin barely allows him to sleep.

His shriveled esophagus was not ready for that first sip of water. It created such a pain in his chest that for a minute he thought he was having a heart attack, but he endured it in silence. On the other side of the glass, expectantly watching, were those who for days had been keeping a vigil outside the hospital, praying for his life, and others who had come from very far away to ask him to end his martyrdom and to be a witnesses to his victory. Not wanting to dampen the celebration of his jubilant colleagues applauding the triumph of his cause, he managed to turn a grimace into a smile.

Guillermo Fariñas’s family allowed me to watch over him on this, the first night after the end of his hunger strike, and he allowed me to be a witness his suffering, his occasional crankiness, and his human weaknesses. Only then did I discover the true hero of this day.

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64 thoughts on “The First Sip of Water

  1. Yoani te considero la mujer mas valiente que conozco. Que Dios te bendiga a ti y todos los que luchan por que los derechos humanos sean respetado en Cuba. Sigue adelante! El mundo esta contigo.

  2. @#61
    I have challanged you before & still waiting … where are my insults to you? prove it!
    It is you who hides … in fact, you are using my form expression & what’s w/your preocupation w/other people’s genitalia?
    Is there an issue there, trying to hide something or you are in denial?
    Your statements in this blogg make you a racist, I just quoted what you wrote, about Indians, Jwes, inmigrants …

  3. Albert the wanker, come off it, would you be so kinfd to post your first ten comments on mine when I came to this page?

    See how civilised was I expressing my opinion, and how foul mouthed were you and your lover siggie the homosexual.

    Give him another hug.

    And how long did I ignore you and invited you to an opne and respectful debate, but the two love birds you and your arse-pocker siggie, started insulting me from the first day?

    So, you shitty little hypocrite, what is the problem now? Taking the “high moral grounds”? You have no reason to do that. You have no morals. No hypocrite does.

    As soon as one is not to your liking, you shout insults from left and right.

    Be prepared to cope some back brainless midget.

    Calling me a racist is a joke from someone who lives only to insult everything and everyone.

    Little pajaritos, that is what the two of you are. Bunch of nazist racists and losers with no hope for a normal life. cretens with mental problems hiding behind the anonimity of the internet.

    Show some juevos and go say what you think to your hermano Fidel instead, if you really want to change the things in Cuba.

    Pretending “democracy”, which you suck at by the way just like your lovergirl siggie the poof, is all fine if you have the cojones to do something about.

    Let me put it this way you wannabe white anglosaxon cock-sucker:

    castros have bigger balls than you all (three of you here) put together. They had their political opinion and they did something about it.

    You would only be a bitch in a prison. And even in that you would surely suck, being brainles creten that you are.

  4. 58Albert (qui ose gagne)

    Julio 15th, 2010 at 12:56
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    Dear Albert, I have comprehended that retarded damir is the best detractor of himself….. that’s why I no longer lose my time answering his stupid comment…… I know readers think the same and do the same I ultimately do…… do not read the bullshit he writes…… I believe there is no better thing to drive out this disgusting guest that leave him alone in his stupidity and lies….. anyway….. in this blog every single comment is recorded and archived…… whoever can look for and find in this place yours, mines and his comment and find he always lies and he always is wrong……. a hug.

  5. @#57
    Your record, the one you have created by your contributions to this blogg & others show & prove that you:
    1) use abusive insulting language,
    2) you are a racist as you stated about Indians, Jews & inmigrants?
    3) you are person w/an anusual preocupation w/other people’s genitalia as you have stated in many of your postings …
    So:
    Attacking you?
    Simply quoting your statements since you don’t leave any room to give you the benefit of a doubt, racist, bully but … “superiour intellect”
    Have a good day pal.

  6. Post 54, as always, wrong. But it is good to see that you are in the hypocrite club as I suggested a long time ago. Defending the nazist calling himself “sigmund freud” when he talks trashy racist crap (as ignorant as ever). Just remind yourself how quick you were to attack me for a lot less.

    Sure, had I been one of “you”, it would have been entirely a different approach, yes?

    Something like that one in fraud’s defence.

    “He may have said it, but he didn’t mean it…”

    Yeah, fraud is a nice girl from the downtown Miami slums where all the wrong whinners from Cuba tend to congregate and sell their girls and drugs.

    Latino machos…

  7. 55 can you not bullshit one time in your life? How many times you had expressed your vile ignorance insulting my people just so you can display your ignorance? Probably thinking that someone will be impressed with it…

    Stinking primitive primate.

    Also good to see that yumbo the retard is trying to hide behind “igor”. Do deny it but you have used a few words in this thread that are typical for the dumbo.

    Not that I care. A stupid and mentally dry old fart will always be just that. No matter what you say or do can change your inevitable rapid slide down towards the grave.

    And to finish you all off, you usanians, here’s a message written by a young lady from the usa:

    http://www.latinworld.com/2010/an-american-in-cuba-adriana-harvey-discusses-her-summer-in-havana.htm

    My favourite part is her admission of the fears every decent allbeit brainwashed sadly, usanian would have going to any foreign country, let alone Cuba”

    “I was afraid that the students would either try to hide the negative parts of their lives or that they would exaggerate how bad things were to gain my sympathy or blame the U.S. This was not the case. It impressed me how nuanced, critical, and open people were when talking about politics or any other topic. They quickly rejected any constructions of the U.S. as an evil empire or Castro as a ruthless dictator.”

    Read it for yourselves anglo-arses lickers.

  8. 53John Two

    Julio 13th, 2010 at 12:25
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    Dear John, I have not attacking any people or nationality but relating facts….. I can say the same about russians, Cubans, etc….. mafia is not an exclusive thing of any country…. nowadays there is mafia evertwhere in the world….. in some places mafia are more successful than in another……. there is a cuban mafia in Cancun, Mexico that makes money smuggling cubans to USA, this mafia uses to kidnapp their “clients” and ask reward to relatives……. I admit these facts when another people writes about it….. why must I treat the truth different just because darko gets freaked when I relate something so known and media diffused like yugoslavian mafia kidnapping girls from everywhere in the world and make them prostitutes?????

  9. @#53
    While I agree in no justification for smearing people from other places I think Siggy did not meant his statement as an attept to smear the ex/Yougoslavs.
    I think Siggy meant it a/tonge in cheek” answer/banter of sorts.
    Mind you I am only giving my perspective/take on it, while attempting to clarify what I think is just a misunderstanding.
    Prostitution is a pervasive, I don’t think there is an exclusive territory in this world, it seems to be controlled mostly by unsavory elements of society in any part of the world, in many forms & different ways but always w/the same results of suffering & degradation.
    That is what I think Siggy was trying to say.

  10. Re comment #48. I recently spent two weeks in Croatia and Bosnia, and met many fine people who are working to rebuild their countries. You are certainly entitled to disagree with Darko’s views about Yoani, but there is no need to smear the people of ex-Yugoslavia in the process.

  11. .The prostitution and pimping you are talking about ( where prostitute receive almost no money for their work is the result of the communism regime
    ******************
    Exactly the sentences I hear everyday in my country – all right wing idiots after 20 yrs of democracy for everything which is baaad say – the result of communist regime

  12. Only cuban girls lured to ex yugoslavian countries and then kidnapped and prostituited by yugoslavian mafia makes a list of thousands…….this the only thing excommunist countries has created with relative success: Mafia, prostitution and subnormal people….
    *******************
    AND SOMEBODY WILL TELL ME NOW THAT YOU ARE NORMAL…

    Glupano and Igor did you read MY posts ? Where and when on earth did I defend Cuban regime and it’s ways of operation? That is what I am talking about – you are just insulting on permisses which says – who thinks different on any issue is an idiot.

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