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. Is there a link to the interview? I still think this is a sham and a trick to keep his “image” alive for a bit longer. Why not a real LIVE to THE PEOPLE statement? Only on TV where it can be CONTROLLED or MANIPULATED!

  2. An interesting perspective on Castro’s state TV appearance:

    “Most of us Cuba watchers know better than to try to predict what Fidel Castro will do and say next. But, even when we know we just don’t know, it’s impossible to resist the urge to ask, why?

    Why is Fidel back on television tonight? Some could speculate that he wants to help his brother change the channel from nonstop coverage and discussion of Cuba’s human rights record and Cuba’s agreement to release 52 political prisoners. Or maybe, he’s ticked off by his brother’s decision to show clemency toward prisoners locked up at the height of Fidel’s “Battle of Ideas” (which was waged against the United States and its “mercenaries”, which included the 52 prisoners who are apparently about to be released). Then again, maybe he just wants to inspire the Cuban people with his against all odds recovery, during a time of deepening economy distress on the island. Fidel was always more visible as a leader than Raul has been, and that worked to his advantage during times of potential instability. And then of course there’s always the obvious: he’s doing this because he’s bored out of his skull and simply wants to jump back into the fight, no matter what or where it is, though preferably halfway around the world. And there’s no fight he seems to enjoy more than with “the Empire” – many analysts believe that every time there’s a glimmer of hope for improved US-Cuban relations (like now) Fidel does something to squash it.

    Whichever reason on you may have settled, none of them could be as ironic as the apparent reality that Fidel is deeply worried about nuclear war breaking out in the Middle East, and feels the need to “warn” the rest of the world. This from the man who helped bring us to the brink of nuclear war more than 45 years ago. (I don’t mean to trivialize the threat of nuclear war now or then, but I just felt like I was reading The Onion when I read this.)”
    http://thehavananote.com/2010/07/fidel_returns_to_cuban_tv_toni_1.html

  3. 37Darko

    Julio 12th, 2010 at 03:58
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    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….

  4. CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR:The mysterious reappearance of Fidel Castro -For the past four years, Fidel Castro has been almost invisible. But now, he’s back in public and appearing on a Cuban TV show tonight. Why? By Sara Miller Llana, Staff writer / July 12, 2010

    Mexico City -The lead photo on the website of the Cuban state-run news organization Granma features Fidel Castro in a rare public appearance. He’s still wearing track suits. But El Jefe will appear on television tonight on the nation’s current affairs program, and the public will hear his voice for the first time in three years.Skip to next paragraph
    Fidel Castro’s re-emergence comes as Cuba has agreed to the release of 52 prisoners, a move hailed as an important step forward by leaders from the US to Europe.
    Coincidence?

    For those skeptical of Cuba’s commitment to increasing its human rights record and path toward democracy, Mr. Castro, whose public appearances have been few and far between since he fell ill in 2006, is re-emerging as many are hoping that changes are underway in the island nation.

    “It would be reasonable to think that Castro is dying and there might be change in the air,” says Ian Vasquez, the director of the Cato Institute’s Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity. “But his [appearance now] could be a signal to Cubans not to get high hopes. …. I think the more important message is: ‘I am still around, do not get any fancy ideas.’ ”

    Castro has been photographed with regional leaders visiting the island, including a recent one by Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, but mostly he has stayed on the sidelines, only giving his opinions in the pages of Granma. Mr. Vasquez says his reemergence now is significant, underlining that he is still at the helm Cuba, he says.

    Last Wednesday, Fidel Castro visited the National Center for Scientific Research in Havana. Photos of him talking with workers ran in Granma this morning. Less than a week later, he is expected this evening on a special program of The Round Table, according to Granma.

    But the Cuban leader is not scheduled to address the major issue of the day – the prisoner release. Instead, he’s expected to discuss the subject that he has devoted much of his opinions to since he temporarily, and later permanently, ceded control of Cuba to his younger brother Raul Castro: the Middle East. Specifically, he’s been warning of an impending clash between the US and Iran.

    “With everything going on now in Cuba, he is going to appear on television but to speak about the Middle East,” says Philip Peters, a Cuba expert at the Lexington Institute. “Fidel Castro remains head of the Communist Party, which is a position of leadership … But at the same time, in his commentaries he is talking almost all time about history or foreign affairs, not about the issues in play in Cuba right now. He is not a shrinking violet, I do not believe it means he has no say or that he is not voicing his opinion about current affairs in Cuba. But he certainly is not doing it in public.”

    In fact, his appearances could be overshadowed by the prisoner release that has dominated Cuba news since last week, after negotiations between the Cuban government, the Catholic Church, and the Spanish foreign ministry led to an agreement for the release of 52 political prisoners.

    According to Spain’s foreign ministry, the first group is to arrive in Madrid tomorrow.

    The release has been criticized by some, who have questioned whether the prisoners are being forced to leave Cuba or are going to Spain at their own will.

    “While we are relieved for these prisoners and their families, the fact remains that scores of political prisoners locked up under Raul Castro continue to languish in Cuba’s prisons,” said José Miguel Vivanco, Americas director at Human Rights Watch, in a statement after news of the release. “So long as Cuba’s draconian laws and sham trials remain in place, they will continue to restock the prison cells with new generations of innocent Cubans who dare to exercise their basic rights.”

    But it has also been seen as a positive move for Cuba´s work towards greater human rights record, including by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who called it last week a “positive sign.”

    http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Americas/2010/0712/The-mysterious-reappearance-of-Fidel-Castro

  5. “The Cuban issue is no longer open for debate, it is one-sided.”

    Well said in one simple sentence. The defenders of the castrofascism regime must sense that the end is around the corner.Sooner or later the regime will colapse.

  6. Darky

    “And Glupano you once asked me for my credibility to write on this blog. Well I see that only credibility you are asking for is insulting all of people who disagree with you even just in details. Your soul is full of hatred and envy and racism. Your heart is just a desert. You probably have no friends or family. You think you know something about everything indeed you are just ignorant sick personality”.

    I have a very large family in the US and Cuba, thanks for asking. I reserve what little hatred I have for the repressors, cowards and useless tools of this world. Thanks for your complimentary words darky, it gives me great satisfaction to see that I get under your skin. Insulting, annoying and chasing away morons like you is what I do, the role I have chosen for myself. This is my way of addressing the likes of you dumbir/juan, culerodefidel and the rest of the pro-castro vermin. I choose to give all of you a dose of your own medicine. The Cuban issue is no longer open for debate, it is one-sided. The castros and their thugs must go, there must be regime change, how to make that happen and how to move forward towards democracy in my mind are legitimate and serious topics to discuss, not debating with the propaganda merchants. For the castro defenders, apologists and sycophants there is no respect given nor time to be wasted debating what’s already plain for any unbiased eye to see regarding Cuba.

  7. There are only two true communist regimes in place. Darko please go establish yourself in Cuba or North Korea. Communism was worst than the plague.The prostitution and pimping you are talking about ( where prostitute receive almost no money for their work is the result of the communism regime). In Canada a prostitute can make over $2000 a week easily. But again let’s talk about a corrupt regime that enslaved the Cuban people since 1959. I am aware that Batista’s regime was also corrupt but at least he was not feed by a plagued ideology that found breading ground in your twisted personality.

    As for the article what do you expect from this ???

    http://www.thestar.com/news/world/article/834792–fidel-castro-to-appear-on-cuban-tv-tonight-report?bn=1

    HAVANA—Fidel Castro is back.

    The aging revolutionary leader will appear Monday Cuba’s key public affairs television program, according to a front-page headline in the Communist-party newsletter Granma. It may be the most prominent appearance by the former president since he fell ill in 2006.

    Castro, 83, was set to discuss his concerns about the Middle East on the Mesa Redonda — or Round Table — a daily talk show about current events that is usually transmitted live on state media and seen across the island.

    “This afternoon, special Mesa Redonda with Fidel,” blares the headline.

    The announcement did not specify if Monday’s program would be broadcast live. Castro also appeared in a brief videotaped interview on the program in 2007 to discuss Vietnam.

    But appearances have been extremely rare since a serious illness in 2006 forced him to step down — first temporarily, than permanently — and hand power over to his brother Raul. Photos of the elder Castro greeting workers at a science centre were published in pro-government blogs and on state media over the weekend, the first time he has been photographed in public in that time.

    Castro remains head of Cuba’s Communist Party and continues to publish his thoughts on world events in frequent opinion pieces, called Reflections. Recently, he has voiced alarm about America’s standoff with Iran over nuclear issues, as well as a deadly Israeli raid on an aid convoy headed to Gaza.

    But he has stayed almost entirely out of the public eye since ceding power, helping Raul Castro carve out a role as the country’s leader after a lifetime spent in his more famous brother’s shadow.

    The two Castros have ruled Cuba since overthrowing dictator Fulgencio Batista in 1959. Fidel’s health has for years been the subject of frequent rumours — particularly among exiles in Florida, and his television appearance will undoubtedly be scrutinized for signs of his aging.

    The photographs of Fidel published this weekend were taken on Wednesday at a scientific think-tank in Havana. He is shown smiling and waving at workers, appearing relaxed and happy, but somewhat stooped. Granma republished the photographs on Monday under the story about his upcoming television appearance.

    Cuba has occasionally released pictures showing Castro in private meetings with dignitaries, most recently during a visit in February by Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. But he had not been photographed in a public setting since 2006.

  8. How simple to become a heroe, just in the weight of one’s beliefs, no fanfare, no show, just do.
    How better yet, no violence, no threats … just do.
    No labels, no categories, no pulpits … just do.
    Sometimes we are in the presence of heroes & we don’t even know it: a parent being a parent … a young person helping another person just because …
    Yes … Farina may be a heroe … perhaps he does not see it that way …. he is just doing …
    Thank you Farinas for … just doing …

  9. Read again & carefully this time … he is not narowly defined as a communist, he is known around the world (belive it or not) as a courageous man, he is defined as a patriot & a heroe for what he stood represented till his last breath …
    Times have changed, all has evolved, laws to prevent exploitation have been designed, perhaps not perfect yet great strides have been made.
    But his memory …
    I consider it his last gesture of defiance an inspiration devoid of any political tone … I think it was & is a statement for mankind.
    Perhaps his memory might be used to label him but I like it to be a simple reminder of human greatness & inspiration by his gesture but that, respectfully … is your choice.

  10. Albert,
    My dear friend Filipovic was a Croatian pre-second world war communist and from the begining of war in partisans in Serbia. He was captured by german soldiers and hanged but was famous for the photography which germans took at the moment of hanging with his hands rised in the sky. From that photo statues was made.
    As I consider all of you guys here are anti anti anti communists don’t dirt your mouth with his sacred deed – he was young, idealist, anti-nazi and anti-capitalist exploatation so evident at that time in ex-Yugoslavia.

  11. hey pal … once again you prove it … Filipovic you are not!

  12. In your country (and all ex Yugoslavia) there is hundred of thousand prostitutes from all over ex communist countries, latin america and Cuba…… the reason is the so called Yugoslavian mafia that kidnaps girls from all the world.
    ******************
    When I read something so retarded then how can I or anybody believe anything you write. If there is hundreds of thousand prostitutes here in my country then there would be hundreds of thousand of those who need their services. Of course your racist mind is trying to implicate that but my dear fellow first read something about that, see some documentaries on subject and then draw some conclusions. And the biggest consumers of this services (and all perversities connected to that) are still US citizens in countries all over the world and that is a known fact.

    And Glupano you once asked me for my credibility to write on this blog. Well I see that only credibility you are asking for is insulting all of people who disagree with you even just in details. Your soul is full of hatred and envy and racism. Your heart is just a desert. You probably have no friends or family. You think you know something about everything indeed you are just ignorant sick personality.

  13. INTERVIEWS WITH GORKY AGUILAR, DR. DARSI FERRER AND OUR OWN YOANI SANCHEZ!

    AmnestyInternational | July 07, 2010
    Cuban rock musicians, bloggers and activists demand a change to the country’s repressive laws.

    Cuba’s repressive legal system has created a climate of fear among journalists, dissidents and activists, putting them at risk of arbitrary arrest and harassment by the authorities.

    The Amnesty International report Restrictions on Freedom of Expression in Cuba highlights provisions in the legal system and government practices that restrict information provided to the media and which have been used to detain and prosecute hundreds of critics of the government.

    YOUTUBE: Rock and repression in Cuba

  14. The military regime calls dissidents “mercenaries” hired by the U.S. Government. Fariñas in an interview sagaciously remarks that mercenary are not known for dying for their ideas, he said, “No mercenary dies for his ideas, mercenaries die for money.”

    A mercenary is a professional soldier hired by a foreign army. A mercenary is essentially motivated by money. The Cubans dissidents aren’t professional soldiers of a foreign country, nor are they motivated by money. They are motivated by their ideals and patriotism.

  15. 25Darko

    Julio 11th, 2010 at 04:09
    Igor,
    Again the point is not wether the cuban regime is so or so. The problem is your arguments. Do you know how many prostitutes were in Havana before revolution?
    Do you know how many prostitutes from Romania or Ukraine we have in our country?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I know how many prostitutes were in Havana before revolution and can tell you that all them were contained in a tolerance area called Colon that was 2 square acres big. Today prostitution is spread all over the country and many prostitutes (male and female) are children, something that was unknown in Cuba before castro.
    In your country (and all ex Yugoslavia) there is hundred of thousand prostitutes from all over ex communist countries, latin america and Cuba…… the reason is the so called Yugoslavian mafia that kidnaps girls from all the world.

  16. 27Igor

    Julio 11th, 2010 at 10:39
    Darko Dumbir multiple personalities, my arguments are based on what I saw in Cuba. At least Romanians prostitutes can exit Romania without requesting the Government for permission to travel
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Castrofascism is a pimp regimen!!!!!!

  17. 13Damir

    Julio 10th, 2010 at 19:48
    I provoked a rain of responses.

    Not ONE to comment on the facts I presented:

    “After 134 days without solid food, or even a sip of liquid”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I do not understand how can you be so retard…….. tell me dummy…….. how do you think people in perenne coma are maintained alive for years and even decades??????…… you are so retarded that it is not worth to exchange comment with you……. I will not do it longer…… it will be make me apear like a stupid to try to convince you of anithing….. so long retarded.

  18. in cuba its not the prostitute that are cheap its the tourist that is cheap… all a girl wants in cuba is to make you fall in love with her so you maried her and get her out……

  19. darko/dumbir/juan

    Still playing the musical names charade, today darko, yesterday dumbir, a couple of months ago juan. Regardless of what name you choose to use, you leave the same stench, the same lack of substance, the same mind-numbing, repetitive, castro-loving drivel. You are incapable of original thought and your empty skull and nutsack prevent you from creating a credible line of thought. As mentioned previously you are like a two dimensional cartoon character from a Rocky and Bullwinkle episode, complete with black hat and cape and a cheesy eastern european accent. You are no more capable at hiding who you are than Boris is in trying to fool anyone with a silly disguise. Your lame attempts at pulling the wool over everyone eyes with your failed attempts at name changing are an utter failure, your clumsy fingerprints are all over your sophomoric posts. Igor, my friend, feel free to disavow any connection to me, I won’t take offense… hahahaha.

  20. and beside that please find one post from me which is “preaching for a corrupt dictatorship “.

  21. Brainless monkey is the one who insults and talks without having a clue what he is talking about. Take care of romanian prostitutes better – from their pimps they don’t receive anything. Maybe you are some kind of pimp when you know so much about prostitution?
    An I think you are alter ego of Yubano you have much more in common with him then me with Damir

  22. Darko Dumbir multiple personalities, my arguments are based on what I saw in Cuba. At least Romanians prostitutes can exit Romania without requesting the Government for permission to travel. As for Paris or Hamburg I don’t think you would be able to actually rent a woman for a week for a a few dollars as it happens in Cuba.

    You brainless monkeys preaching for a corrupt dictatorship should discuss the reason why that man was on hunger strike and not his intake of fluids. You remind me of Stalin and his sneaky ways of rewriting the history of Russia.

  23. Igor,
    Again the point is not wether the cuban regime is so or so. The problem is your arguments. Do you know how many prostitutes were in Havana before revolution?
    Do you know how many prostitutes from Romania or Ukraine we have in our country?
    Have you ever whatch any documentary on young girls smuggling to the west of europe and us for prostitution?
    Have you been to Paris or Hamburg?
    Come on..

  24. Damir, we all know you your employer is. We are curious if beside the 30 convertible pesos per month you are receiving a fair bonus for the amazing work you do on this website to defend a corrupt dictatorship. Common’ tell us ! Your friends’ daughters are selling their bodies to tourists for small change just to be able to buy a piece of meat for dinner. Let’s discuss this issue for a change. I am not Cuban, but I’ve been to Cuba and I also lived under the best dictatorship ( our dictator was sentenced to death on Christmas Day- the best Christmas present we ever got). You can full 6 billion of people who never been to Cuba but you will never full the Cuban exiles and the thousands of tourists who had a chance to roam through the streets of Havana or any other Cuban city.

  25. God Bless Coco Farinas, Las Damas De Blanco y Las Damas De Apoyo, Yoani, Biscet, Gorki, Orlando Zapata Tamayo all Cubans that have brought attention and better living conditions to the People of Cuba. Any one who thinks the Castros have hlped Cuba, need to look at pictures from Cuba in 1930, 40, 50 and compare them to what the buildings/streets and people of Cuba look like today, 2010. The clinics in Cuba in 1950 where better equipt than those of today. People, take Sharpies to Cuba and encourage the people to speak up for what is right. Damir, your a puppet,voice, and an apologist for the Failed Regime. Your twisting the facts and dishonest. I hope one day Cubans too will be able to access the internet. Freedom of expression is a beautiful thing. Cuba needs to end the opression and restore its citizens rights. TAKE SHARPIES TO CUBA and give one to Almeda’s son for his cause. Can someone here help me with the number of jails found on the island????

  26. Post 20, give it up dumbacraze. No amount of reasoning with you will ever help you grasp the basic concepts of common life, let alone the higher levels such as understanding the meanings.

    IMPLICATION is not an outright statement or action, dumbacraze. IMPLICATION is unspoken meaning that is OBVIOUS from what is SAID OR WRITTEN, or DONE.

    Like when someone breaks the window on your car. No one said a thing EXPLICITLY, but you KNOW that they do not like you.

    Because they are IMPLYING that in their gesture.

    Your stubborn hanging on to an ideology that has disintegrated itself, run its’ course and is now sliding deeply into an abyss, is rediculous.

    Just as are your senseless comments here and that wannabecool attitude with the “dumbocraze sez”. As if you are some authority on something that permits you to patronise others. Like the rest of your ill-thinking ilk here.

  27. Simba Sez; Dumir, at first I thought you were a little short of brain cells and you were unable to comprehend what Yoani had said so I explained it for you. Now I can see that you are just plainly ignorant and do not choose to live within reality. Yoani makes no implication whatever that this gentleman had no nourishment in any form for 134 days. You are making this up and injecting it into some sort of perverted concoction of a story that only you in your convuluted mind would have any reason to orchestrate. Possibly you should schedule an appointment with Siggy. You really need help.

  28. Because dumbasez,(I keep ignoring the fact that EVERYTHING MUST be explained to intellectualy impaired…), by saying the “fact” that the guy did not eat nothing solid, and had no liquid, team Yoani IMPLIES that the guy was 134 surviving on NOYHING. So he “sacrified” himself for a “greater good”.

    Whe he didn’t.

    He knew well that the doctors would force feed him and prevent him from dying.

    So he gratefully ACCEPTED the FOOD in LIQUID form forced into his veins.

    If he really wanted to make a stand, he would then do the same as that other guy who died earlier this year by REFUSING to be force-fed to keep him alive.

    So this one, who by the way is looking quite chubby on the photos, AFTER 134 days “without” the solid food and liquid, is also a bit of a hypocrite.

    I would not place any credit for release of encarcerated people on his shoulders for pretending to have a “hunger” strike, while taking the resources and the bed away from someone who is really sick and needed them more than he did.

    He should really be ashamed of himself for doing the pitiful and wrong thing to make a political point by behaving in a highly hypocritical way.

    But there will be no lack of similar hypocrites in other countries who will applaud such primitive and disgusting tactics.

  29. ONE OF MY FAVORITE JOURNALISTS!

    MIAMI HERALD: Cuba’s prisoner release no sign of new era-BY ANDRES OPPENHEIMER
    Cuba’s announcement that it will free 52 political prisoners over the next four months is a welcome development, but Spain’s Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos’ claim that this opens a “new phase in Cuba” is ludicrous.
    After his meeting with Cuba’s dictator Gen. Raúl Castro and Roman Catholic Church Cardinal Jaime Ortega in Havana, an ecstatic Moratinos hailed the news of the imminent release of the first five imprisoned dissidents as a watershed in Cuba’s recent history.

    “This opens a new phase in Cuba,” Moratinos told reporters. He added that “there is no longer any reason to maintain the (European Union’s) Common Position” on Cuba, referring to the 1996 European agreement to link any improvement in ties with Cuba to progress on democracy and human rights on the island.

    But most moderate Cuba-watchers list many reasons why Moratinos’ claim was a wild exaggeration.

    First, Cuba has a long history of using political prisoners as a bargaining chip, releasing a handful of prisoners in exchange for economic or diplomatic concessions, and later rounding up the next batch.

    Rev. Jesse Jackson obtained the release of 26 political prisoners in 1984, Bill Richardson got three dissidents out of jail in 1996, Jimmy Carter’s visit in 2002 led to the freedom of one prisoner, and Pope John Paul II visit to Cuba resulted in the release of 80 jailed dissidents.

    Second, even if Cuba keeps its word and releases the 52 dissidents in an effort to get the European investments it desperately needs, that would only be less than a third of the island’s political prisoners.

    According to the Havana-based nonauthorized Cuban Commission for Human Rights, there are 167 prisoners of conscience on the island. But international human rights groups believe there are many more, because Cuba does not allow United Nations inspectors to visit Cuban prisons to see who is behind bars, and for what reasons.

    Third, we still don’t know whether this will be a prisoners’ release, or a forced deportation. In the past, Cuba has tended to release political prisoners who agree to go into exile. A Roman Catholic Church statement announcing the prisoners’ release last week said they “will be able” to leave the country, but did not specify what will happen with those who want to stay.

    Fourth, and most important, the Cuban regime is not even talking about modifying articles 72 and 73 of its criminal code, an Orwellian legislation that allows it to put people behind bars before they committed a crime on the mere suspicion that they may commit one in the future.

    Nor is the regime ready to consider changing its law 88, which allows it to imprison people for writing anything that can be interpreted as critical of the government, or its various laws banning freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom to travel within the country or abroad, independent unions, and political parties.

    When I asked José Miguel Vivanco, head of the Human Rights Watch advocacy group’s Americas department, whether Cuba’s latest announcement amounts to a “new phase” in Cuba, he said: “We are obviously very happy for the prisoners and their families, but I am not going to congratulate a government for imprisoning people that shouldn’t have been imprisoned in the first place.”

    Vivanco, a critic of the Cuban regime who at the same time opposes the U.S. embargo on the island, added that “If Cuba’s norms don’t change, nothing will change.”

    My opinion: I agree. Instead of following Moratinos’ recommendation, the European Union should be a little imaginative, and tell Cuba: “We applaud your move, and we are ready to lift our Common Position, but you must take a few minimal steps to show that you are ready to start abiding by United Nations-sanctioned fundamental rights.”

    “Don’t panic, we are not talking about the big things, such as free elections, or a multiparty system, like the U.S. laws demand,” the Europeans could say. “We are just asking for small things, such as allowing all Cubans uncensored access to the Internet, freedom to meet with whomever they want, or allowing dissidents to write and publish on the island.”

    Of course, the Cuban regime will not go along because it knows that it would not survive if Cuba ceases to be a police state.

    But it would put Cuba’s dictatorship on the spot, and help put the latest headlines about the prisoners’ release in proper perspective.

    Andres Oppenheimer is a Miami Herald syndicated columnist and a member of The Miami Herald team that won the 1987 Pulitzer Prize. He is the author of Castro’s Final Hour; Bordering on Chaos, Cronicas de heroes y bandidos, Ojos vendados, Cuentos Chinos and most recently, Saving the Americas. A new Oppenheimer Report appears every Sunday and Thursday. More

    http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/07/10/1725083/cubas-prisoner-release-no-sign.html

  30. And just because dumbosez arrogant punk is asking for it, here’s why he is merely another estupido inmigrane cubano en usa:

    The team Yoani IMPLIES that the guy did NOT have any nourishmnet at all by predictably and with complete absence of any skill manipulating the facts. By IMPLYING that he ahd NO food at all, team Yoani lies through their derechistas eyes.

    Their naivety is enormous. They themselves posted a number of times how horrible is the treatment and conditions in hospitals in general, and how much worse is for “dissidents”.

    And then they post the photos that dismantle their credibility in an explosive way.

    I can only imagine how much excrement must be on their faces right now, with all these photos above.

    But, I digresss… I was really addressing dumbosez blunt stupidity.

    Now, I do understand that I just wrote some heavy words for you to comprehend, so use the dictionary and study the words like TO IMPLY, TO MANIPULATE.

    Then read the team Yoani’s post again.

    And then humbly accept your intellectual disability and impotence. It would be only a fair thing to do, if you are really for a fair and just society as you IMPLY here by criticising Cuba on a daily basis.

    Man, I love this page. A bunch of easy prey offering their heads on a plate… Lotsa fun!!!

    And has anyone else noticed how siggie the fake freud and yumbodumbo are having a go at each other in that other thread!!!!!?

    And they think they belong to the same group of “people”!!!!!

    Come on boys, keep it going. You are doing more, and much better, to discredit yourselves that people who disagree with you could ever do.

  31. Simba Sez: Dumir, you ask for proof. Would you please reread the statement by Yoani, and this time try to comprehend. I realize there are some big words, but maybe you could look them up. Yoani said, “After 134 days without solid food, or even a sip of liquid” Intravaneous drip is not solid food it is a liquid, and it is not sipped, it is injected through the veins. Therefore your statement is invalid.

  32. Cannot resist to demonstrate how little you are capable of using your dry and shrank brains.

    Intravenous drips deliver the nutrients to the organism by injecting it directly into the blood.

    Let me pull the key word out here for you to read, re-read, and keep re-reading until you understand it :

    NUTRIENTS

    NUTRIENTS

    NUTRIENTS

    Did you get that?

    NUTRIENTS is a synonim for FOOD and LIQUIDS.

    Hence, the guy WAS FED for the duration of 134 days.

    Hence team Yoani LIES.

    It is as SIMPLE as that.

    And the silence on the horrible treatment, and conditions in the Cuban hospital is deafening too.

    So, it is merely a factual statement I make when I call team Yoani incompetent and ill-intended liars.

    Got a problem with that?

    Solve it with a professional psychiatrist.

  33. Rick, there is no such thing as a religious person having a secular outlook in life. How on earth can you say that…?

    As for my statement about some “god”, a secular society demands a proof for statements. Just like all those sigmunds and alikes here who demanded “proofs” from Barbara constantly, for example.

    Can you already sense a hypocrisy at work here?

    See, those same individuas demanding the proof from others, have declared their allegiance to religion many times over.

    So, it goes the other way. I can, and will, demand proofs for anything anyone says if I do not believe it.

    The concept of “god” is included. It may be a dogma for believers, but it is just another statement that requires a verification, for me.

    Best that can be done is for religious people to keep that delusion to themselves. Because, once they drag it out themselves, it is a fair question to ask “and how the hell do you know there is such a thing called “god”?

    Only a solid proof will do.

  34. I provoked a rain of responses.

    Not ONE to comment on the facts I presented:

    “After 134 days without solid food, or even a sip of liquid”

    IS A LIE.

    That is what team Yoani does for living. It is a fact. Feel free to contradict me if you can.

    If yo can’t, you know what you are.

    I take this as a confirmation of my suspicions and my suggestions done so far in this place.

    I offered you all a challenge more than once. Discredit the facts. Discredit my statements about team Yoani lying.

    It is simple. For those with the brain is a no-brainer. siggies, alberts and yumbos with no dicks (he makes it up in the size of his negative IQ) are naturally self-excluded…

    Come on.

    It is a sign of weaknes to spit and insult when someone demonstrates irrefutably that your ideology is shit. Offer counter arguments if you can.

    How on earth can anyone say that this is NOT A LIE:

    “After 134 days without solid food, or even a sip of liquid”

    Come on, show some balls and talk like grown ups, not like slimy, pimple ridden teenagers with identity problems (dickless yumbo, I am talking to you in particular).

    Again, mine is but a wishful thinking.

  35. Certainly the mediation by the Spanish government and the Cuban Catholic church help on the release of the political prisoners, but the bulk of the merit for their release shall go to Orlando Zapata who died as a hero last February after a prolong hunger strike, without compromising his ideals; to the Ladies in White weekly Sunday protest for years demanding the release of their love ones, and to Guillermo Fariñas with his hunger strike seeking the release of 26 political prisoners in poor health. They brought world attention to the suffering of the political prisoners, forcing the regime to mediate and start their release.

  36. #6-#7 John Two – Yubano

    Call it life force if you will or nothing at all if you please I was not directing my words so much as a statement against agnostics or atheists so much as my reply was directed only at Damir.
    As to my being theocentric though I agree with the intent behind stewardship of the environment I am by no means guided in my actions by any overwhelming desire to follow any God and my outlook is largely secular. If my choice of words insulted any of you I apologize my intent was to contrast good versus the animosity shown by Damir.

    Good health to Guillermo Fariñas!

  37. Hey you bastards. Please don’t mention my name anymore in context that doesn’t have to do anything with me.
    I strongly stand by my opinions but as they are absolutely of no relevance on this pointless skirmishing i don’t find it worthless to write anything.
    Also to that guy Albert from previous post – do you know at all what are you writing about? Do you know who Stjepan Filipovic was and when he lived?
    “Some of the laws still in effect preponents of religious or ethnic separation, or governing by force.” – what exactly do you mean by that?
    And Milosevic was integralist and unitarist and doesn’t have to do anything with anybody’s independence. Don’t write about anything you don’t know shit about.

  38. Hey Darko Dumbo Dumbir, it seems that your bosses are prepared to run country to the ground like the Cuban people are running their 55 years old Chevys. Althoug a man can easily live 134 days on IV’s, my question to you and your bosses is: Will the Cuban people survive another 10 years of communism ? Are you guys competing with North Korea for the Guinness World Records ?

  39. Damir, why are you so quick to accuse Yoani of lying? It has been widely reported that Farinas allowed himself to be hospitalized and receive fluids by IV. In fact, the IV drip is clearly visible in the photos above.

    As recently reported in the Octavo Cerco blog, Farinas has even tried to get a letter published in Granma praising the medical staff caring for him. It was clearly not in the interest of the Castro regime for Farinas to die so they pulled out all the stops to try to prevent it from happening.

    And while Yoani has not yet been imprisoned, the other types of harrassment she has faced from the regime and its supporters have been well-documented not only by Yoani but by many independent sources.

    Rick, I usually agree with your posts. However, as someone who also does not believe in a supreme being, your #4 comment is completely uncalled for.

  40. More baseless bullshit from the stateless, dickless, communist demagogue Dumbir/Darko/Juan. Your skull is as empty as your nutsack you moron. You keep siting your “friends” in cuba, does quoting faceless, nameless sources supposedly give you credibility? If these phantom sources actually do exist they are as clueless and cynical as you are with your alternate version of reality. In your world Farinas, Yoani, the Ladies in White, the internal and external opposition are all liers and nazis and your buddies running the show in cuba are the victims. No one is fooled or taken in by your malignant propaganda. Your rhetoric is nothing but the desperate rantings of a pathetic and defeated bolshevik loser. You have no believers in your hogawash here tovarish.

  41. #3 Damir

    Though I do not criticize your opinion about God as it is yours, I would say that anyone who does not believe in something call it what you wish; the Supreme Being, Mother Nature, Karma, Fate, Zeus, Allah, Buddha, Jesus, Yahweh or whatever is lacking in something that has throughout the ages differentiated human beings from animals.
    So the conclusion would be that you are not part of our species “Homo sapiens” and that you must belong to some other animal group.

  42. That’s all fine and wonderful, but the team Yoani continues to promote the lies for the truth. That is my greatest problem with this web page. The “fight” by the team yoani is just as farsical as their opponents. A joke really:

    “After 134 days without solid food, or even a sip of liquid”

    No one can live this long without the food, and without the water, a week is the most you will survive. So their statement (the criminals hiding behind the team Yoani) are lying outright and have no qualms about it. Their intentional misrepresentation of the truth is actualy worse than anything Castros do because they are pretending to be on the side of “honesty”, “openness”, “transparency” and all that cheap “democracy” bullshit.

    And the fact that she is left alone and is working in peace, spreading her stupid lies, demonstrates that whatever she says is not true even wshen she is bashing the brothers.

    After all, she is free to say what she thinks and is still walking around. No one is arresting her any time soon.

    So what is the team Yoani trying to achieve?

    A change of political system?

    Frankly, they must be delusional. With lies like the ones they post here, their credibility in the only place that counts, the Cuba, is severely erroded. Almost non-existent really. So say my friends in Havana, who are quite angry with the brothers too.

    And one more thing to the nazist-capitalist derechistas who complain about everything, and have many times mentioned “appaling” treatment of “dissidents” in horrible conditions in hospitals:

    Have another look at the pictures and the level of horror surrounding the “dissident”. He’s got even the phone in the room, stacked with the technology, clean and quite modern.

    Ok, now bring on the hypocrisy, you “righteous” ones!

    By the way, “god” doesn’t exist.

  43. Fariñas has been offered asylum to leave the country several times, but he has been steadfast in continue with the hunger strike seeking the release of 26 political prisoners in poor health, choosing to stay in Cuba. He has said: “I’m going to accept this challenge until the final consequence. I would like to live, if my conscience allows me to do so, when I’m sure that nobody else is going to die.”

    I am very happy that Fariñas has ended his hunger strike. Most people didn’t want to see him continue the hunger strike and die. His unselfish sacrifice has been an important factor on the promise release of 52 political prisoners by the regime.

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