Leading dissident risks her life once more


Cuban dissident Marta Beatriz Roque leads hunger strike
September 10, 2012 From EFE via Fox News Lateeeen-oh

Cuban dissident Marta Beatriz Roque on Monday began a hunger strike along with 12 other opposition members to demand that the authorities put an end to their excesses over recent months.

The 67-year-old Roque announced that she will continue with the protest “to the very end” and warned that her life could be in danger as a result because of her chronic diabetes.

She told reporters that she will refuse any kind of medication and that she will only ingest water, saying that that could “accelerate hypoglycemia and cause death in 48 hours.”

Roque, one of the “Group of 75” dissidents jailed in the Black Spring of 2003, was paroled the following year for health reasons.

She said that she would only halt the hunger strike if the authorities release dissident Jorge Vazquez Chaviano, who has been imprisoned since mid-year.

Roque said Vazquez was supposed to have been released on Monday because the sentence that was imposed on him ended on that day.

In addition, she demanded that the Cuban government respond to the alleged assault on the home of dissident couple Misael Valdez Diaz and Vivian Peña Hernandez by organized government supporters.

The alleged attack on the home in the eastern town of Palma Soriano came while the couple and their 2-year-old daughter were in police custody.

Valdez and Peña belong to the Orlando Zapata National Front for Civic Resistance and Civil Disobedience, named in honor of the dissident who died in prison in 2010 after an 85-day hunger strike.

To those two cases may be added the burning of the home of another opposition member in April and two incidents in Santiago de Cuba where the home of Jose Daniel Ferrer, another Group of 75 veteran, was ransacked.

“We have as much right to a response as any other citizen,” said Roque in justifying her hunger strike.

The dissident said she felt calm because “everything is organized” at her home for what might occur in the coming days and she also revealed that she had completed her will.

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