Cuba Politics

Cuban Protesters on hunger strike, government repression getting worse

Posted November 15, 2009 by publisher in Cuba Politics.

Nine Cuban protesters holed up in a Havana home for 36 days are now taking part in a liquids-only fast.

Protester Lazaro Yuri Valle Roca told CNN Friday after beginning the fast this week, a doctor urged one protester engaged in a full hunger strike to begin consuming fluids.

Valle Roca said despite the doctor’s recommendations, the protesters remain committed to calling for increased rights for citizens of the Communist island nation.

“We remain firm in our decision and our disposition is to go forward,” he said.

Ann Louise Bardach, author of “Without Fidel: A Death Foretold in Miami, Havana and Washington,” said the protesters represent a new generation of dissidents putting their lives on the line for freedom.

“They’re doing something quite risky,” Bardach told CNN. “They can all go to jail now for a long time.”

“Here they are, some of them the sons and daughters of leading Cuban revolutionaries,” she said. “These are really the children of the first guard.”

The dissidents have been staying inside Vladimiro Roca’s house since October 9. They call themselves “plantados,” planted ones, because they are holding a type of sit-in at the house.

Cuban authorities have set up a perimeter several blocks from the house and do not allow anyone who does not live in the neighborhood to enter, Valle Roca said.

Authorities have not allowed food or medicine into the house, the dissident said.

Member Comments

On November 17, 2009, Cubana wrote:

The hunger strikers include Martha Beatriz Roque, who was imprisoned in the Black Spring and later released on health grounds. See here:

On November 17, 2009, publisher wrote:

I did not know that. Thanks for posting.

I have not supported her in the past since she was so closely tied to George Bush and the US Interests Section in Havana.

I hope she achieves what she is striving for and is healthy doing it.

On November 17, 2009, publisher wrote:


But Martha Beatriz Roque’s condition and the extent of her fast were not clear until the 64-year-old appeared at a news conference in Havana on Tuesday.

The activist appeared unsteady but far from death. Her associates clarified that she had only given up solid foods over the past eight days — and, in any case, was calling off the protest.

Although Roque faced reporters, she refused to speak. A supporter read a statement saying she was returning to a normal diet. Roque, wearing a purple house dress over a light long-sleeve shirt, walked with a cane and at times was steadied by a friend.


On Monday, Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart, a Republican from Florida, said on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives that Roque was “close to death in Havana due to complications arising from a hunger strike.”

Spanish-language media in Miami followed Roque’s protest closely, with many in the Cuban-American community expressing outrage. Diaz-Balart accused the international press of ignoring the story.


1. So much for an eight day hunger strike. I guess I commend her for her efforts but she quit the hunger strike after eight days and she’s able to get up and have a press conference and Diaz-Balart is exaggerating that she is close to death all add up to photo op and a somewhat staged event.

As I said above, I have not supported her in the past. This event has not given me any reason to support her going forward.