Tue, Nov 09, 2010 - Page 7 News List

Cuba dissident vows hunger strike

AP, HAVANA

Many in Europe had applauded the release deal and the gesture even earned grudging approval from the US, which has been at odds with Cuba for more than a half century.

A delay could set back US President Barack Obama’s long-rumored plans to loosen travel restrictions and make it easier for students, academics and researchers to visit the island nation. US tourists are effectively barred from traveling to Cuba.

Hypocritical

Havana calls US criticism of its behavior hypocritical, saying Washington does not have a perfect human rights record either. Cuban officials note the US government is friendly with many regimes accused of torture and other abuses and counts dictators and strongmen among its allies.

Cuba considers all its dissidents to be common criminals and says they receive money from the US for the express purpose of bringing down the nation’s communist system.

As for Farinas, the dissident threatening to start a new hunger strike, officials say his legal problems include violent behavior toward a coworker. They also say he has lived through two dozen hunger strikes only because of the medical attention given to him by government doctors.

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