Monday, May 6, 2013

In Solidarity with Hunger Strikers in Cuba

A Call for Solidarity with Hunger Strikers in Cuba.

Activists in Camagüey issue declaration of solidarity with hunger strikers

Declaration of Saratoga

May 6, 2013

People of Cuba, Camagüey, Cuba and compatriots all:

We are a group of nonviolent human rights and opposition pro-democracy activists that have gathered here today at the emblematic Saratoga neighborhood in the city of Camagüey, where after a sustained exchange and fruitful working meeting, we present to the world this historic declaration , in which we set out the following points of view:

  1. Our most firm and unconditional support to our brothers of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) that in the east of the country are struggling between life and death on hunger strike. We hold publicly responsible the regime and its political police of the consequences for their lives and health that may result from their just demand for an arbitrarily imprisoned brother. Receive each and every one of the strikers and the members and officers of the iconic and courageous organization, the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU), headed by well-known opposition leader José Daniel Ferrer García our deepest solidarity and affection.
  2. Those present took the opportunity to publicly call world attention to the unfortunate case of Nicolás Felipe González Menéndez and Arcelio López Rojas, in the prisons of Villa Clara and Camagüey respectively that might lose their lives in separate hunger strikes and that for different reasons are carrying out. The cases of Nicolás and Arcelio have the paradoxical, and for us unacceptable silence and indifference both of the media as well as a few activists in and out of Cuba, who for the simple reason are not recognized as political prisoners, they are denied coverage and monitoring.

Know those who are listening to us that we are gathered here today and each one of all the prisoners in Cuba, whether or not they have the status of political prisoners, whatever the causes for which they were imprisoned, have the right of solidarity for and with them. And for who lacks courage to do it, know that today convened here in Saratoga, openly and responsibly we are for all those in Cuba and elsewhere in the world who risk their lives in the just demand of their rights.

Although the commemoration of Mother's Day is still days away, we want to congratulate in advance the Cuban woman as mother, wife and woman. And especially in these moments that they have been at the forefront of the struggle in the Cuban resistance, confronting with courage and patriotism the totalitarian repression. On this occasion we want to congratulate several Cuban Marianas that during these days carry the truth of Cuba to different parts of the world and international forums such as: Berta Soler, Yoani Sánchez, Belkis Cantillo, Laura Labrada Pollán, for all of them on behalf of Cuba, many congratulations.

Those gathered here today and congregated here on this public balcony in Camagüey and in sight of military units are here confirming our sacred commitment to the nonviolent defense of human rights and democratic change especially united in action, as a basic component in any liberation process.
Gathered here in Saratoga, are members of the following organizations: Camagüey Human Rights Unit, National Civic Resistance Movement Pedro Luis Boitel, Women's Movement for Civil Rights Rosa Parks, and members of the Central Opposition Coalition, all affiliated to the Orlando Zapata Tamayo National Civic Resistance Front.

Compatriots, here we are in the residence of the provincial headquarters of the Human Rights Party of Cuba affiliated with the Andrei Sakharov Foundation, a pioneer flagship of our coalition of coalitions, here we are:

Yenni Barayobre Columbié
Daniel Miguel Jiménez
Elicardo Freire Jiménez
Santos Manuel Fernández Sánchez
Alexander Pérez Aguilar
Orlando Romaguer Peña
Orlando Gómez Echevarria
Julio Columbie Batista
Damaris Moya Portieles
Jorge Luis García Pérez Antúnez

Also the presence of Yris Tamara Pérez Aguilera on a convalescent bed recovering from ailments of the beating stands out and also the fear that we have that there may be a repressive event and she could be suppressed. Also inhabiting the residence is the activist and mother of opposition activist Santos Fernández Sánchez, Elida Sánchez Jiménez.

Original Spanish text available here and audio in the youtube clip below:

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