Opposition leaders suspend hunger strike after dissident is released

Havana, Cuba, Sep 19, 2012 / 12:05 pm (CNA).- Thirty Cuban opposition leaders suspended their hunger campaign after the government gave in to their demands that it release dissident Jorge Vazquez Chaviano from prison.

The measures taken by 67-year-old Cuban dissident leader Marta Beatriz Roque and the other members of the opposition were followed by the international community and by the Church in Cuba.  

The spokesman for the Archdiocese of Havana, Orlando Marquez, told international reporters, “We are following the news and praying for her, for her health and for other persons who are in a similar situation.”

However, Marquez noted that the Church does not support hunger strikes because they are a form of “self-aggression.”

“The Church rejects violence inflicted upon any person for any reason, in same way that she rejects methods of self-aggression, when one is demanding the right to that same life,” he said.

Jorge Vazquez Chaviano is a member of the Central Opposition Coalition. He was supposed to be released from prison on Sept. 9 after serving a sentence for “illicit economic activity.”

However, his sentence was extended until April 2, 2013, which led Roque and the other dissidents to launch their hunger strike.

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