Prominent Cuban Leader: Only Street Protest Can Defeat Communist Regime
A winner of the European Parliament's Sakharov Prize, former political prisoner, and one of the leaders of Cuban opposition Guillermo Fariñas assessed that the Communist regime would fall when the solidarity protest was launched.
Mr. Farinas called upon Cubans for solidarity hours after his arrest by the regime police.
We need to take to the streets, be it the 15th, or any day. It is the only way democracy can be achieved, stated opposition leader.
Communist secret police officers arrested Mr. Fariñas on Tuesday morning, in front of his house in Santa Clara taking him to the Provincial Unit for Criminal Investigations and Operations and later to secret apartment of State Security on the outskirts of the city.
We need to take to the streets, be it the 15th, or any day. It is the only way democracy can be achieved in Cuba, stated opposition leader.
Communist secret police officers, the head of the Confrontation of Subversive Activity in Villa Clara, Mr. Daniel González Rojas and the other man who introduced himself as Alexander interrogated leader the opposition United Antitotalitarian Forum.
The secret police threatened Mr. Fariñas with imprisonment if he would participate in the Civic March on November 15. The Archipelago group is an organiser of the street protest for immediate release of political prisoners and reforms that would lead to free democratic elections.
Opposition leader led twenty-three hunger strikes
Mr. Fariñas has conducted twenty-three hunger strikes over the years to protest various elements of the Cuban government and spent more than eleven years in prison. At least, twice the regime persecuted him with imprisonment in psychiatric hospital.
University-educated opposition leader was member of the regime's special forces trained by Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese. In 1981, Fariñas went to the U.S.S.R. to Tambov where he studied at the Airborne Academy but, due to official negligence, suffered exposure to a chemical nerve agent that damaged his health to the point that he had to be discharged from the army.
In July 2012, he was one of dozens of activists arrested in Havana at the funeral of dissident Oswaldo Payá, a founder of the Christian Liberation Movement, a cradle of Cuban anti-Communist opposition movement.
In 2016, Fariñas and other members of the opposition organization Patriotic Union of Cuba, UPACU, protested against the increasingly violent repression of dissidents and activists.
In the past two weeks, arrests, interrogations and other forms of harassment of independent activists and journalists have intensified, as November 15 approaches.