Former Cuban political prisoner Jorge Luis García Pérez, better known as Antúnez, was hospitalized today, suffering the effects of a hunger strike he and three others started Feb. 17 to demand the Castro dictatorship respect the human rights of political prisoners and other Cubans.
Antúnez, who has chronic health problems brought on by his 17 years in prison, was hospitalized after he suffered convulsions and lost consciousness, according to Cuban Democratic Directorate, which has been publishing regular updates on the hunger strike.
“We decided to bring him to Placetas General Hospital, where upon arrival they administered a 5 per cent dextrose solution intravenously, they performed blood tests on him and sent him to the intensive care ward," said Donaida Pérez Paseiro, spokeswoman for the protesters. "Now they say that he is fine, and we know that is not the case, that the hand of State Security is here, giving orders to the doctors here."
Antúnez is one of the giants of the Cuban opposition, a man of tremendous character and principle. His death would be a great loss to the struggle for freedom in Cuba, even if his example inspires others to action.
Hunger strikes are unfortunate — suicide by protest is never acceptable — but if Antúnez, his wife or the other hunger strikers were to die, it would be all on a dictatorship for driving them to such an act of desperation.
Read more here, and don't forget to read the comments.
Also, listen to Antúnez describe the protest here.