Vía Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU):
This march took place in Altamira, Santiago de Cuba, and was in solidarity with the more then 25 hunger strikers in all of Cuba who are risking their lives to demand freedom for political prisoner Jorge Vazquez Chaviano and calling on an end to repression against the internal opposition. Among the strikers are renown dissidents Jorge Luis Garcia Perez ‘Antunez’, Martha Beatriz Roque Cabello, as well as members of the Ladies in White, independent journalists, and other human rights activists. In addition, the demonstrators denounce the state abuse against people who try to thrive in self-employment in that area. Often, these people are robbed of their merchandise by the State and are fined, arrested and even beaten.
In the video, after singing Cuba’s national anthem, the activists shout slogans such as “long live human rights”, “Down with Fidel and Raul”, “Down with hunger”, “Fair pay”, and “Freedom”.
**Update on Hunger Strikers (09/16/12): Antúnez continues to be suffering faints, tachycardia, and mental lapses, according to reports by his wife Yris Tamara Perez Aguilera on her Twitter account (@YrisCuba). Martha Beatriz Roque Cabello is still in critical condition, for she is diabetic and of a more elderly age. She is very weak and cannot lift herself from the bed without help. Jorge Vazquez Chaviano, who is also on hunger strike, was transferred from Manacas to Guamajal prison, where he continues his strike, though little information is known on his condition. His family continues to suffer from persecution and physical abuse at the hands of the political police.