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Cuban dissident ill from fast, but stable

Posted on Saturday, 11.14.09
Cuban dissident ill from fast, but stable
One of seven Cuban dissidents who recently launched a fast to protest
harassments suffered from complications due to diabetes, but is stable.

HAVANA, Cuba, April 30 (Miriam Leiva, Three members of
the dissident Ladies in White were attacked by police and private
citizens following Sunday's Mass in Perico, Matanzas province, according
to one of them, Alejandrina García de la Riva.

García de la Riva, wife of political prisoner Diosdado Marrero, said she
was accompanied by two other relatives of dissidents imprisoned in 2003,
Saili Navarro, daughter of Félix Navarro, and Noelia Pedraza, wife of
Ariel Sigler Amaya, Damas de Blanco, as well as friends.

Cuban dissident Martha Beatriz Roque's health was stable but can change
quickly, according to a statement issued Friday by a group of government
critics on a liquids-only fast to protest harassments.

The 64-year-old Roque has been suffering complications from her diabetes
and the fast that she and seven other dissidents launched Tuesday at the
home of another government critic, Vladimiro Roca.

The statement said that a Cuban doctor married to one of the fast
participants examined Roque late Thursday “and his diagnosis was that
at that moment she was clinically stable.''

But in the absence of laboratory tests, such as those for blood sugar
levels, there was no way to determine the impact of the fast on her
health, “which implies that from the clinical point of view her
stability could change in an instant,'' the statement added.

The group asked one of the protesters, Yunit Reina Hernandez, to halt
her fast because of a kidney infection, the statement added.

A senior Cuban state security official on Friday made a second visit to
Roca's house and asked to speak to Roque, but she again refused, the
group told El Nuevo Herald in a telephone interview.

Roque was released from prison in 2004 because of her health. She had
been sentenced to 20 years during the 2003 crackdown on dissidents known
as Cuba's “Black Spring.'' She also served three years in prison,
1997-2000, for her role in drafting a key dissident document titled
“The country belongs to all.''

Roca had reported on Thursday that she was extremely ill, having fainted
twice and then received communion and the Catholic church's sacrament of
the sick from her parish priest on Thursday night.

In Spain, Cuba Democracia Ya, a group made up of exiles, announced it
would march Saturday down Madrid's main Gran Via avenue to show support
for Roque and the other dissidents.

The group in Roca's house launched a sit-in Oct. 9 to demand that state
security return a camera seized from a member of the Cuban Network of
Community Communicators.

Roque and Roca founded the network, which posts news and photos on the Web.

Pro-government neighborhood groups and government officials have been
increasingly harassing Roca's house and the protesters, throwing rocks
at the house, blocking some visitors from entering and shouting at the
dissidents when they have tried to go out to buy food.

One of the dissidents reported that the government supporters had even
threatened a neighbor who had allowed the government critics access to
his avocado tree.

The dissidents launched the liquids-only fast on Tuesday to protest the

Cuban dissident ill from fast, but stable – Breaking News – Mobile – (14 November 2009)

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