Meanwhile, back in the former Pearl of the Antilles



Civic Resistance Leader Antúnez calls for public protests demanding freedom for jailed activists and declares a hunger strike

PLACETAS, CUBA, September 11, 2012. Assembly of the Cuban Resistance. Former Cuban political prisoner Jorge Luís García Pérez Antúnez, leader of the Orlando Zapata Tamayo National Civic Resistance and Civil Disobedience Front announced Monday that he declared himself on hunger strike since last Friday, September 7, 2012 demanding the unconditional release of political prisoner Jorge Vázquez Chaviano and detained activist Misahel Valdés Díaz, both directors of the Front in Sagua la Grande and Santiago de Cuba respectively. Dozens of human rights activists have suffered arbitrary detention since that call, and twelve more human rights activists from Cuban prisons and cities have joint the hunger strike began by Antunez.

“I want to say that I will remain on strike until Jorge Vázquez Chaviano is released, or at least the authorities will provide a fair solution to his demands. I would also like to report that the Orlando Zapata Tamayo National Civic Resistance Front is convening a day of protest titled ‘Free Jorge Vázquez Chaviano and Misahel Valdés Díaz, they are innocent’. […] The front is making it clear that at no time is it calling for a national strike, nor is it calling for activists to go on hunger strike, but the Front is calling for an escalation in nonviolent protest actions in public places, to demand the release of this brave brother Vázquez Chaviano who was arrested trying to reach the city of Havana to participate in the homily, at the Mass that Benedict XVI offered during his visit, “said Antunez to Radio República and the Assembly of the Cuban Resistance.

In the afternoon of Sunday September 9 it became known that Misahel Valdés Díaz, a delegate of the Front in Santiago de Cuba and who had been beaten, arrested and his home raided on Thursday, September 6, was released and returned to his home in ruins. Antúnez explained that although Valdés Díaz was released that the Front sought solidarity with him and his family and that the protest continues for Vázquez Chaviano.

Other members of the Resistance, organized into the Central Opposition Coalition in the center of the country have decided to declare themselves on hunger strike as part of the protests in favor of Vázquez Chaviano. Also the independent economist Marta Beatriz Roque Cabello announced that she would join the protest called by the National Front in Havana.

Jorge Luís García Pérez Antúnez