Jul 6, 2010

Castro's Cuban Media vs. Dying Hunger Striker

Granma, the Cuban media monopoly's flagship news service has published a 2171 word interview of a dying Cuban hunger striker's doctor which fails to mention the motives for the strike. Instead, the doctor presents himself as frankly perplexed by the dissident's suicidal choice. After all, he philosophically muses, "...he is privileged, like all of our patients. He has a 24 hour companion ... a television where he watches the World Cup...and a telephone...these are important conveniences for a patient's spirituality."

Thus placing the blame for his expected and probable death squarely on dissident Guillermo Fariñas' shoulders, Dr. Armando Caballero, Chief of Intensive Therapy at a Santa Clara hospital adds that ..."only his desire could be an important medical factor in the solution to his problem." This is a remarkably inaccurate assertion, for while intent on killing himself unless his demands are met, Guillermo Fariñas has never claimed that he desires to die. All the contrary, he specifically blames the Castro dictators for his forthcoming death, and is ready to immediately cease the suicidal hunger strike if the latter unconditionally release the most ill of Cuba's political prisoners.

The good doctor is of course also a victim of the Castro brothers' repression. Accordingly, he dared not discuss why he believes his patient desires death or mention the political prisoners whose lives he is trying to save, through what is arguably suicidal blackmail. Instead, he spent much of the interview detailing the numerous, sophisticated and costly medical tactics that have been used to help extend his life to what is now over 125 days without eating orally. Of course, if Fariñas' demand were granted, as it should be, because whatever else it may be, it is just, then the good doctor will not need to save his life any longer, and the medical costs will cease.