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Elio Delgado-Legon: I am a Cuban who has lived for 80 years, therefore I know full well how life was before the revolution, having experienced it directly and indirectly. As a result, it hurts me to read so many aspersions cast upon a government that fights tooth and nail to provide us a better life. If it hasn’t fully been able to do so, this is because of the many obstacles that have been put in its way.

Guillermo Farinas and the Business of Hunger Strikes

August 16, 2016 |

Elio Delgado Legon

Guillermo Fariñas with Hubert Matos (l) y Luis Posada Carriles (r). Photo: cubadebate.cu

Guillermo Fariñas with Hubert Matos (l) y Luis Posada Carriles (r). Photo: cubadebate.cu

HAVANA TIMES — Recently, I read a post on Havana Times published on August 8th entitled: Guillermo Farinas Returns, Once Again Unarmed. I couldn’t believe what I was reading. The writer makes it clear that many people criticize and hate this man for being a mercenary working for a foreign power, for being a counter-revolutionary in spite of being black, and furthermore, even though the author of this article doesn’t state this, for having studied a university degree for free, which in a capitalist country, and I say this from experience, would have been impossible for him.

I don’t criticize people who honestly voice their opinions, although sometimes I refute them, because they like capitalism more than socialism, and there are more than enough arguments to refute them. However, those who resort to telling lies and defamation, they really get me angry.

To echo the lies coming out of Farinas’ mouth is to become their accomplice, and talking about stopping the beatings, death threats, prosecutions for false crimes and confiscating their personal property, is slander, which is aimed at staining the clean and transparent image of the Cuban Revolution, which is considered globally, by millions of people, as the paradigm to follow, and this is what Imperialism is most worried about, and therefore they pay mercenaries to dull the shine of this beacon which guides so many revolutionaries in this world.

Talking about releasing political prisoners in Cuba is a very complex issue. It is true that a number of those some considered political prisoners were released when the Catholic Church and the Spanish Government mediated the process, however, these “political prisoners” had been punished for violating Cuban laws and for carrying out activities guided and paid by a foreign power who wants to change the Cuban political system and take our country back to the days of neoliberal capitalism, which those of us who didn’t live in Cuba before 1959, can inform themselves by looking at what is going on in the rest of Latin America, where this failed system rules.

The author of the aforementioned post tries to cast doubt upon the crimes committed by Farinas, before he became a dissident and world record holder in hunger strikes. However, at Santa Clara’s Provincial Court, both sanctions appear, which to my knowledge, were very light given the crimes he committed: the first, hitting a defenceless woman, and the second, beating an old man, who had to be hospitalized.

What is clear to me though is that the Cuban counter-revolution is on the look out for figures like this one to get them to join their depleted ranks and incite them to declare hunger strikes so they can use this as propaganda against the Revolution. And if they die as a result, all the better, because then they can convert them into the counter-revolutionary flag.

It’s really shocking that somebody who says he is Cuban considers and treats a potential terrorist as a hero. Farinas has met and become good friends with Luis Posada Carriles in Miami, responsible for countless crimes, amongst them blowing up a Cuban civilian plane in 1976, which resulted in the deaths of its 73 passengers, making him another terrorist. And I didn’t say it, George W. Bush said it himself when he stated that whoever is the friend of a terrorist is also a terrorist.

Lastly, because I don’t want to drag on, I think it’s awful, absurd and antihistorical to compare the hunger strikes of Farinas with those carried out by Julio Antonio Mella when he was unjustly locked up by Gerardo Machado’s bloody dictatorship.

Mella was a true revolutionary, the founder of the first Cuban Communist Party and the University Students’ Federation and he was assassinated by hitmen hired by this dictatorship, while Farinas has carried out hunger strikes directed by counter-revolutionary bosses and has taken this on as a profitable business, making him a rich man.

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  • Carlyle MacDuff

    Elio as usual, gets carried away by conforming to the balderdash promoted by the Propaganda Department of the Communist Party of Cuba. His statements reflect his mental confinement to Cuba which results in a distorted conception of the outside world and its views. Elio faithfully adheres to the PCC myths when he writes:
    “the clean and transparent image of the Cuban Revolution which is considered globally, by millions of people as the paradigm to follow”
    He endeavours to promote untruths and in his combination of innocence and ignorance to spout untruths about the free world, for example;
    “for having studied a university degree for free, which in a capitalist country, and I say this from experience, would have been impossible for him.”
    OK Elio, what are the fees for attending a Scottish University – and let me remind you that by 1500 the Scots had four (4) universities – St. Andrews, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Edinburgh – when the English had two (2) – Oxford and Cambridge. Go on Elio, tell us about that from your experience!
    Elio refers to those who like capitalism more than socialism. As one who has spent the bulk of his life under a ‘Socialismo’ dictatorship, his thoughts are confined to that comparison as FREEDOM has no meaning. To summarize Elio, the requirements for you as a Cuban seeking to have a quiet life are;
    “Don’t challenge the system, accept it, stay mute and exist.”

    • University education isn’t free in a lot of the world (look at the rest of the region). Though it is less costly in Wales and Scotland than in England, I wouldn’t describe it as free in either country. I have a son in Heriot Watt in Edinburgh and we as a family have to support him through University. He also needs to fund his education as many students do, by running a rickshaw or bicitaxi and teaching children. Not to mention taking out student loans.

      • Carlyle MacDuff

        Of course Dani, I did not expect a response from Elio. But if you think that education in Cuba is free, then explain why it is that a woman with her original teaching degree plus a Master’s degree and twenty five years of teaching experience receives less than $400 per annum.
        Those uniforms that you see Cuban children wearing are compulsory. Who has to pay for them out of average earnings of $20.68 per month? The parents!
        Never seen a bici-taxi in Edinburgh, but take your word for it – maybe they cycle along Rose Street amongst the pedestrians. I guess that your son at Herriot Watt will earn more than the equivalent of $400 per year as a solace for his parents expenditures. My grandchildren are at Aberdeen – no bici-taxis on Union Street!

  • curt9954

    If Farinas really did become friends with a terrorist like Luis Posada-Carilles, then he deserves no compassion whatsoever. Farinas is nothing but a publicity hungry man who receives money from U.S. Aid and NED for starting trouble. Elio makes a very good point when he states that Farinas received a free university education, something that wouldn’t have been possible in the U.S unless he got a full scholarship, something that not many people get. If Farinas is so repressed by the Cuban government, then why is he allowed to freely travel to the U.S in order to fraternize with the anti-Castro elements there.

  • Ken Hiebert

    2nd paragraph
    “I don’t criticize people who honestly voice their opinions, although sometimes I refute them, because they like capitalism more than socialism,…”

    Can it be said of all critics of the Communist Party of Cuba that “…they like capitalism more than socialism,…”? Are there no critics who speak from a socialist point of view?

  • Al Perez

    The “business of hunger strikes” that nobody wants. Who initiates and maintains a hunger strike – either a fanatic or a courageous person. Farinas is not fanatic, so he must be very courageous. So he deserves respect.