Cuban journalist Guillermo Fariñas refuses medical help on hunger strike

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The Cuban journalist Guillermo Fariñas, who has been on hunger strike for over a month according to UPI, today refused the medical help of the Spanish government, stating that he was willing to die for his cause reports the Washington Post.

Fariñas began his strike on 24 February, a day after dissident prisoner Orlando Zapata Tamayo died following an 85-day hunger strike for improved prison conditions reports The Guardian.

Fariñas said he appreciated the offer of the Spanish government to take him to Spain in a helicopter ambulance and grant him asylum, but he did not want to be exiled from his country. He said: “If I leave they will never let me back in.”

Fariñas is hoping the Cuban dictator Raul Castro will concede to his demands and release 26 ailing political prisoners, but according to AP the government has said it will “not be blackmailed”.

Fariñas embarked on a seven month hunger strike in January 2006 to press for unrestricted internet access for all Cubans, but abandoned it when he was told he was close to death.

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